World Bank cancel US$1.2bn Padma Bridge loan
First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
A loan worth US$1.20billion for the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project has been cancelled by the World Bank (WB).
The decision was said to have been taken as the Bank was not satisfied with the actions taken by the Bangladeshi government in regards to corruption allegations involving the bridge contract. A major engineering and construction company is alleged to have made improper payments to Bangladeshi government officials in order to secure the bridge contract.
The World Bank loan, signed In April last year, was part of a funding package for construction of the US$2.9 billion bridge which, on completion, would have been be the country's longest.
Funding also was expected from the Asian Development Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Islamic Development Bank.
The bridge was intended to link the country's underdeveloped southwestern districts with Dhaka, the capital, benefiting 30 million people and boosting Bangladesh's economy by 1.2%, according to a forecast by the Asian Development Bank.
The World Bank first brought the corruption allegations in October last year.
Western world companies face tight legislation with regard to alleged improper payments, making the practice largely eradicated.