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Corruption allegation: Dhaka finds World Bank proof hard to accept

Publication Date : 11-05-2012


Bangladesh's Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith yesterday said there are problems in the World Bank's proof of corruption in a key river bridge project due to its complicated investigation procedure.

"There are some clauses which make the investigation difficult. Earlier I have said the World Bank gives opinion assuming what would happen in future. So it is very tough for us to accept the proof," Muhith told BBC Bangla Service last night.

The WB has suspended its US$1.2 billion loan commitment for Padma Briudge construction following the alleged corruption in the appointment of consultants for the project.

Asked about the probe by the government, he said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been assigned to investigate the allegations. "The ACC is probing the matter. I have talked to the ACC chairman about this."

The government is discussing the construction of the bridge with several development partners, but nothing has been finalised yet, he added.

Bangladesh officials expect that Malaysia will send a proposal by the end of this month for reaching a final agreement on financing the project.

The ACC is investigating the reported involvement of Sahco, a company owned by former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain and his family members, in the corruption, according to the officials.

On April 10, Bangladesh inked a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia on cooperation in the construction of the bridge.


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