Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said that Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader is so enterprising about the Padma Bridge construction works that it is surely going to be completed within the incumbent government's tenure.
“I am not joking. Communications Minister Obaidul Quader will definitely complete the bridge within our tenure,” he told reporters after attending the annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington on Friday.
Muhith said Quader's regular visit to Padma bridge construction site gave him confidence that it would be completed within a year.
The finance minister noted that the World Bank's withdrawal of fund from Bangladesh's largest infrastructure project till date gave Dhaka an opportunity to prove that the country can construct the Padma Bridge with domestic fund.
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After the World Bank pulled out of the project raising allegations of corruption, other lenders also followed suit. Bangladesh vehemently rejected the allegations and decided to fund the project itself that would connect Bangladesh’s south-west to the northern and eastern regions once operational.
It will also boost the country’s GDP by 1.2%, the government says.
“The World Bank has compensated the fund withdrawal from the Padma Bridge by funding the country’s power sector. They disbursed $1.8 billion which went to the power sector's development,” he added.
The minister also noted that Bangladesh expected to receive $4.5 billion from the International Development Association of the World Bank in 2018.