No surcharge this FY: Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said on Thursday that the government will not impose surcharge to raise funds for the Padma bridge project in current fiscal year.

The minister said this replying to reporters’ queries after a meeting with the officials of the Telecommunication Ministry at his Secretariat office.

Asked about the government stance on the proposed Padma bridge project, Muhith said the government is now considering four alternative sources to create fund for the project.

He said the Padma bridge could be constructed with the World Bank fund. If not, the government will seek financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency, Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank, he said.

The minister further said that the multipurpose bridge project can be built under public-private partnership.

The government is also considering local fund for implementing the project.

Asked about meeting between the chiefs of Jica and the World Bank, Muhith said the meeting was held in Washington Wednesday night but the outcome of the meeting is yet to be known.

The government is expecting a positive development on the Padma bridge fund from the meeting, he added.

Jica President Akihiko Tanaka is expected to request the new WB President Jim Yong Kim to review the Bank's cancellation of its $1.2 billion loan as the lead financier in the Padma bridge project.

The Bank scrapped the loan agreement on June 29 after a prolonged dialogue with the government failed, as the latter did not take steps, as suggested by the WB, on alleged corruption in the appointment of project supervisor.

News Source: 
The Daily Star