World Bank,s cancellation of Padma bridge loans marked as a kick-back by Dr. Md. Yunus of Grameen-Bank
The World Bank canceled a $1.2 billion loan for a bridge in
Bangladesh, saying the country’s government failed to take action
against “a high-level corruption conspiracy.”
Bangladesh has mixed reactions regarding the decision. Most of them
thinking that this is a kickback for the decisions made by the Govt.
regarding Md. Unus of Gramen bank , who is a trusted friends of the
members country and the decision maker of the world bank. Regarding
some are questioning about the fairness of the World-bank and their
corruption , nepotism within and out side the organization as well in
their funded projects for other third-world countries like Bangladesh.
Some marked Dr. Kamal Hossian an international lobbyist and a friend
of world Banks member countries. Dr. kamal hossian is a remarkable
anti -Sheikh Hasina activist and a serious Anti-activist of the
“It’s like a bolt from the blue,” Bangladesh’s Communication Minister
Obaidul Quader told reporters in Dhaka today. Quader said the bank’s
decision is “unfortunate and mysterious.”
Two former employees of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SNC), Canada’s largest
engineering company, were arrested on corruption charges in connection
with the bridge project, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said last
week. The World Bank yesterday said the case also involves Bangladeshi
government officials and private individuals.
“The World Bank cannot, should not, and will not turn a blind eye to
evidence of corruption,” the Washington-based bank said in an e-mailed
statement yesterday. “We have both an ethical obligation and a
fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders and” the member states
contributing to the fund that lends to poor countries, according to
The proposed 6.15-kilometer long bridge on Padma river will connect
the remote southwest region with the rest of the country including the
nation’s capital, Dhaka. It will cut travel time to 3 hours from 12
hours and eliminate dependence on ferry services for transport.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said he was suprised by the
“language and tone” of the World Bank’s statement.
The bank said it looked for ways to continue the project because of
its importance to the country’s development and was ready to continue
financing through a contractor outside of government control in
exchange for action from Bangladesh authorities, including putting the
suspected public officials on leave until the end of the
“It’s not true that we didn’t take any action,” Muhith said in a
statement today. “We have taken extraordinary steps to clear the
doubts of the World Bank,” he said without elaborating.
The bank’s conditions also included appointment of a special team for
the case within the country’s own anti- corruption body and to let a
World Bank-appointed panel have access to information on the
“We proposed that when the first bids would be launched, the Bank and
the co-financiers would decide to go ahead with project financing if
they had determined, based on the panel’s assessment, that a full and
fair investigation was under way and progressing appropriately,” the
bank said. The government’s “response has been unsatisfactory.”
The World Bank had pledged $1.2 billion for the $2.93 billion project.
The bridge was supposed to be completed by the end of 2014.