Muhith, officials talk possible ways of alternative funding
Finance Minister A M A Muhith Monday discussed the possible ways of alternative funding arrangement for the Padma Bridge project with some top executives.
Meeting sources said PM's Adviser on International Affairs Dr Gowher Rizvi, secretaries of the Economic Relations Divisions (ERD) and the Bridges Division, and Padma Bridge project director were, among others, present in the meeting held in the evening.
They said the finance minister asked the authorities concerned to provide him all possible details of the cost of various components of the 6.15-kilometre-long bridge, to be constructed with alternative sources of fund, if positive assurance does not come from the WB.
The minister sat with the officials in the wake of ongoing stalemate with the World Bank (WB) regarding its financing for the mega project.
A couple of days ago Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the journalists that the government would go for alternative arrangement for implementing the project, if the WB does not respond to its engagement in the $ 2.9 billion project by January.
"We have just discussed various aspects of the Padma Bridge project financing for getting an idea about the possible cost, and its alternative funding arrangement," said an official after the meeting.
Dr Gowher Rizvi and ERD Secretary Abul Kalam Azad told the FE that the meeting discussed various issues including the Padma Bridge.
"We have just reviewed the overall situation and progress of the Padma Bridge project. But no fresh decision has been taken in the meeting," Dr Rizvi said.
He, however, mentioned that the meeting also discussed the possible response from the WB, and alternative funding options for the project.