ADB pulls out of Padma project
Asian Development Bank has pulled out of the much-talked Padma bridge project after the government wrote to the World Bank withdrawing its request for funding.
The World Bank was the main financier of the $2.9 billion project and the ADB was a co-financier, alongside Japan International Cooperation Agency and Islamic Development Bank.
"Given this co-financing arrangement, a discontinuation of funding by the World Bank means ADB is also unable to proceed with the transaction," said the Manila-based bank in a statement on its website.
It also said, "The ADB has just been informed by the government of Bangladesh of its decision to disengage from the World Bank financing of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project, as they think they are stuck on the project almost indefinitely because of the investigation about the conspiracy of corruption."
The statement from the ADB came as the Washington-based anti-poverty bank said the government had sent to a letter to it withdrawing its earlier request for the revival of the $1.2 billion funding, the World Bank had committed.
The ADB also said the bridge, which is designed to link the south-western part of Bangladesh with Dhaka and other parts of the country, remains one of the most significant development projects in the country.
"In this regard, the project has major regional value, and the potential to benefit about 30 million people. The project would benefit investment, trade, jobs and economic growth," it said.
ADB remains hopeful that such an important project would be completed.
The bank said it is committed to the highest integrity, governance, and anti-corruption standards.
â€œWe, therefore, encourage the Anti-Corruption Commission in Bangladesh to continue a full and fair investigation, and the Government of Bangladesh to continue its work on governance reforms. These measures combined will also benefit people and businesses in the long run."
ADB had committed $615 million for the country's single largest infrastructure project in its history.