ADB 'unable to provide' Padma fund
The ADB has said it is unable to finance the Padma bridge project after the lead co-financier World Bank pulled out of it, while Jica has made it known it will consult with the Japanese government before taking any decision.
However, a high official of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) said the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) would similarly cancel their loans in line with the co-financing arrangement.
A statement issued by the ADB yesterday says, "ADB understands and respects the reasons that have led the World Bank to its decision. ADB and the World Bank follow similar policies, rules and procedures on governance and fiduciary oversight."
Last Friday, the WB in a statement announced its decision to cancel its component of $1.2 billion on charges of corruption in the estimated $2.9 billion project.
The ADB's share in the project is $615 million, Jica $400 million and Islamic Development Bank (IDB) $140 million.
In an e-mail to The Daily Star, the ADB said it had been informed by the WB of the decision to withdraw the loan.
Given the importance of the project for the country and the region, the ADB said, it deeply regretted that the two parties [WB and the government] had been unable to reach an agreement to go ahead with the project.
It added that it had a longstanding relationship with Bangladesh and its people, and reiterated its commitment to long term development needs.
Jica told The Daily Star through an e-mail that it would take a decision about the loan it had promised for the bridge upon consulting with the Japanese government.
The situation is very much regrettable in spite of the efforts of the Bangladesh government and the WB, it said.
In another response to inquiries from the media, Jica said, "We hope that the government of Bangladesh will deal with the current issues in a constructive way."
The ERD official said the ADB was yet to officially inform the government of its decision.
Under the loan agreement, if a co-financier does not activate its credit, loans of other co-financers will automatically remain inactive, he added.
The ERD official, however, said the government had started fresh talks with the WB, ADB and Jica. The IDB loan of $140 million has already been activated with a portion of the money released.