Bridge over the river Padma: Row over funding with World Bankby Md Rezaul Karim Asst. Prof.
The row between World Bank has been going on for quite a long month, accusing each other of unfairly dealing the Padma Bridge project, which is a multi-billion stake. At the moment of beginning the real project work and fund releasing World Bank stopped funding insisting the Government of Bangladesh must do something to uproot the corruptions in the procurement and contracting that the Bangladesh government vehemently opposing saying nothing unfair is going on, rather World Bank is advocating and influencing unduly to hire a Chinese Railway contracting firm which have had no experience in building bridge and the pre-qualification application added an accomplished bridged photo located in the USA which was turned out to be a false credit. Such a falsification of documentation was done by the Chinese company at the placing bid and World Bank supporting it or rather unduly pushing it to be taken was a sheer corruption. When rejected by the selection committee which also consists of World Bank representatives, it began to put hurdles and started doing 'hanky-pinky' with the Bangladesh Government. Finally, Anti-corruption office of Bangladesh investigated the case and found out to be fair and no corruption happened so far, the ministry and other secretariat related to the matter shifted from their positions, yet World Bank sticks to its decision to block the funding. What should the Bangladesh Government do now! They are planning to go solo, if no one comes, taking other financing measures which is not beyond critical discussion and conspiracy theories. All the people and government are now watching the events and new era is emerged encircling the future of the other World Bank projects and its relationship and TOR in the days to come.
When World Bank stopped funding and saying they would not involve with the project in the middle of the deal, Bangladesh Government has been in trouble with the financing. Two problems in it as - how to collect that huge amount of money, secondly the payment would be done in dollars not in local currencies, which might put pressure on its foreign currency reserves.
New recession and turmoil in Europe and the slow recovery of the US economy have already put strain on the export market and earnings of Bangladesh. Moreover, manpower export to the Middle Eastern countries also has been suffering for numerous reasons. Problems with Rohinga refugees put the humanitarian situation and relations with Burma in a more stress situation. Remittance sending pipeline is also drying out due to less income earning prospects.
In this situation the Government of Bangladesh is thinking about numerous measures to collect finances, e.g., levies, and surcharges on various at source income or revenues, selling bonds to wages earners who are living abroad, forming a company to sell shares in the local market.
Most of which are controversial and not unanimously agreed by the political parties and hence people are also divided on the sourcing and imposing of taxes, amidst of many rumors and intentions of the government!
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Created on Jul 30th 2012 03:26. Viewed 88 times.