Saturday, December 10, 2011

WB Must Prove Padma Graft Allegations: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina insisted Saturday that the World Bank must prove the corruption allegations related to the Padma bridge project. 

“The World Bank has to prove when and where the alleged corruptions took place and how much money was embezzled,” she said while addressing a press conference at her official Gono Bhaban residence.

The premier continued: “The World Bank has no obstacle now to investigate the corruption allegation as the communications minister (Syed Abul Hossain) has already been removed from the ministry.”

The premier said the government will not wait for foreign funding for big projects like Padma Bridge from now on rather the projects will be financed through public private partnership (PPP). 

She said the government will call foreign countries or any of their respective companies to implement projects as bill-operate-transfer (BOT) system. 

“I’ve already urged countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, Korea to construct the Padma Bridge and we will formally send them letters in this regard,” she said adding, “No big projects cannot be stopped due to delay in releasing funds by donor agencies.”

Hasina said if the WB’s fund for Padma Bridge is released it will be utilised for other development projects.
Referring to the Indian move to build the Tipaimukh dam on the common river Barak, Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, said the government will never accept any projects that may harm the country.

On splitting the Dhaka city corporation, the premier said it has been done in a bid to ensure better service for the city dwellers. 

LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Railways Minister Suranjit Sengupta, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader, Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni flanked the premier at the press conference organised to brief the media about the outcomes of the PM’s recent visit to Myanmar and Indonesia.