World Bank wants to fund big projects

World Bank wants to fund big projects


The World Bank now wants to fund a project ‘even bigger’ than the $2.9 billion Padma railroad bridge project.This comes barely two years after the global lender raised a stink over alleged corruption forcing Bangladesh to withdraw its funding request for the project.The Bank’s Chief Economist (South Asia) Martin Rama made the offer to Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday during a courtesy call.“Bangladesh’s economy is rapidly growing. Many projects like the Padma Bridge will come up. We want to be involved in funding them,” Rama told journalists later.The planning minister also confirmed the World Bank’s willingness to extend financial assistance to Bangladesh for projects.Quoting Rama, Kamal said the bank would sign a $1.7 billion loan agreement with Bangladesh next year to fund 11 development projects.The World Bank economist also promised ‘bigger assistance’ for future development projects, the planning minister said.

Kamal said he had sought the bank’s assistance in infrastructure, roads, connectivity, electricity, gas and other relevant sectors.But the minister made it clear it was not possible to get the World Bank back into the Padma bridge project even if the global lender wanted to fund it now.Currently, 36 projects are being implemented in the country with funding from World Bank directly — and 24 other projects are funded by the UN and other agencies through joint trust fund, with which the World Bank is associated.At present the World Bank is funding 29 percent of the country’s total development projects.​


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