The government will sit with thelender agencies soon to finalise the modalities for constructing the PadmaMultipurpose Bridge (PMB).
"A high-level technical teamcomprising officials of WB, ADB and JICA scheduled to arrive in Dhaka in a weekor two to work out the modalities of cooperation in light of newunderstanding," Iqbal Mahmud, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD)told journalists at a media brifing yesterday.
It may cover investigation ofcorruption charges in one hand and to agree on a revised construction modalityand schedule of project implementation on other, he added.
The World Bank (WB), AsianDevelopment Bank (ADB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JIACA) andIslamic Development Bank (IDB) have assured $2.9 billion credit support forbuilding the Padma bridge project.
He said donors officials fromtheir respective headquarters will shortly arrive in Dhaka to finalise theconstruction modalities of the country's largest bridge project.
"But prior to this, anexpert team from the WB headquarters will come in city to work closely with theAnti-Corruption Commission (ACC)," said Mahmud. The anti-graft body isconducting an investigation against the high government officials over acorruption allegation from the WB, the lead financier of the project.
He said the government hasrecently approved National Integrity Strategy (NIS), which further demonstratesits commitment for transparent, accountable and just governance at all levels.The Government would like to implement the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project ina way so that it would serve as a demonstration project.
The WB cancelled its $1.2 billionfounding commitment for the project on June 29 this year, citing corruptionconspiracy at high government places.
On Thursday, the WB revived itsfunding commitment for the Padma multipurpose bridge project after two and halfmonths of stalemate, following hectic negotiation from the government side.
Replying to a query Mahmud saidthat the WB did not impose any new condition for their reengagement to thePadma bridge project.
"There is no new conditionand it is sure that the Bank is going to finance," he added.
The ERD Secretary also said it'san ongoing project and we have not stooped the work of the project. " Wehave already spent over Tk 1000 crore from our own resource," headded.
"All the components of theproject are going on, and we're now concentrating in its implementation processwithin shortest possible time," said Mahmud.
Mahmud reaffirmed a corruptionfree implementation process of the project saying that the government remainsfirm in its commitment to combat corruption.
"Immediately after assumingoffice, the government began the process of eradicating corruption. For thePadma Bridge, the largest development project undertaken ever, the governmentdeclared at the very outset that there will be zero tolerance for corruption inthis project," he noted.
The WB, being convinced of thegovernment's firm intention, changed its earlier policy (of not financing theroad sector) and came forward to support the project with the largest credit tothe country. The government is firmlycommitted to stand by its pledge and several measures have been adopted by nowto ensure this.
"The WB has not only decidedto re-engage in its commitment of providing $1.2 billion for the project butalso at its board meeting on September 20, it has approved another $527 millionfor several other development projects in Bangladesh," he informed thereporters.
"The government ofBangladesh welcomes the WB's decision to finance the Padma Multipurpose BridgeProject along with ADB, JICA and IDB. The decision of the Bank to come back asone of the co-financiers will bring forth promising results and a favorableoutcome for the citizens of Bangladesh," he added.
The government of Bangladesh alsoacknowledges with profound gratitude the constructive role of the governmentsof Japan, USA, India, UK and China in facilitating the financing of the Padmaproject by the World Bank.