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Padma Bridge, World Bank and Bangladesh July 5, 2012

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ECONOMY.
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World Bank has cancelled the Padma Bridge contract of 1.2 b US$.In support of their decision, they said that Bangladesh Government didn’t comply with their request to convincingly investigate the allegation of corruption in the project by the Bangladesh officials.

WB sought the following actions “(i) place all public officials suspected of involvement in the corruption scheme on leave from government employment until the investigation is completed; (ii) appoint a special inquiry team within the ACC to handle the investigation, and (iii) agree to provide full and adequate access to all investigative information to a panel appointed by the World Bank comprised of internationally recognised experts so that the panel can give guidance to the lenders on the progress, adequacy, and fairness of the investigation,”

In in immediate reaction, Finance Minister of Bangladesh Mr. MA Muhith refutes the decision of World Bank and said that it is based on the opinion of past World Bank President Zoellick. Then in the prliament, Muhith gave a statement blaming World Bank not to hid to Bangladesh proposals and blamed World Bank for dishonour Bangladesh people. Muhith says that the credible evidence of World Bank is not acceptable to Bangladesh.

Communication Minister Obaidsul Quader said that Padma bridge will start in set time. He is negotiating with Malaysia to develop an alternative proposal over months.He declared to show surprise that he withdrew later as a slip of tonge.

Noted personalities, different socio-economic forums and political oppositions urged the government to punish the culprits and to renegotiate with World bank to settle the issue.

Prime Minister Sk Hasina said in the Parliament that Bangladesh will build Padma bridge with it’s own fund and criticized World Bank for withdrawing the fund.

People are waiting to see the end of the debate and to see their dream come true.

An ordinary citizen

Post script:

Sajeda Chowdhury said the we can build the bridge by donating our one day expenses.
Suranjit Sen Gupta expressed that 2 hands of 16 crore people are enough to construct the bridge.
Insurers offer their support for construction.
Padma bridge will be constructed with our own funds-PM. PM also declares that the work will be done by this fiscal year.
BNP opposes Padma bridge with own fund

Dr. Yunus was proposed for World Bank President but he refused March 23, 2012

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, PERSONALITY, Yunus.
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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sk. Hasina proposes Dr. Yunus name for the the post of World president in a meeting with the envoy of EU. The proposal caught everybody off guard as nobody thought of Hasina would propose Dr. Yunus for the post.
So far Sk. Hasina kept no stone upturned to malign the image of Dr. Yunus in a serices of acts. The last action of her was removal of Dr. Yunus from the post of Chairman of Grameen Bank after 30 years of service to the bank that he had founded.
Dr. Yunus took the proposal as the change of heart of the Prime Minister.
But he refused to be president of the World Bank, rather he is more concern with the state of the Grameen Bank and wants to serve Grameen Bank longer period.
Will Prime Minister pay hid to the intention of Dr. Yunus ?

Padma Bridge: Dream yet not fulfilled October 28, 2011

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Padma bridge is a long cherished dream for the people of south of Bangladesh. Once done, it will connect the south with the other parts of the country. was thought to be a revolutionary step to eliminate the economic discrepency with the east .

A plan was chalked out and World Bank was set as the major donor for the project of about 6 billion dollar. It would provide more than 3 billion dollar and ADB, Jaica and IDB would share the rest of the burden. 
When people was hopeful about the start of the project , WB declared to stop the funding on the charge of corruptiontion in ralation to the handling of the project. Soonafter, ADB and Jaica also withheld their commitment. The finger pointed to the Communication Minister Abul Hossain who was recently heavily criticised for failure to maintain and develop the roads and hiighways of the country. Government said that no specific allegation was raised by the WB. Anti Corruption Commission made an enquiry into the allegation. The chief of the commission declared that they found no corruption in the project and there was attempt to wrong doing in the the process. 
 In the meantime the Prime Minister declared in a public meeting that Padma funding is stopped due to corruption of BNP government. the PM also assured the natiom that if WB dont provide thw money then alternatives are there to suppot the project. Muhith said later that government is not looking for any alternative source. The pending of the WB fund is only a temporary one .After one or two days she expressed that a Nobel Laureate of Bangladesh is behind the stoppage of the funding. The only Nobel Laureate of the country Dr. Mohammad Yunus immediately protested the assertion saying that he was always advocated for Padma bridge and as a citizen of the country he never thought of preventing any effort for the briadge and added that WB can’t take such a major decision on the opinion of an indivividual. Finance Minister Muhith two days later denied any involvement of Dr. Yunus in influencing the funding of WB.

Then two days later, the senior information officer of Finance Minister issused an statement complaining that the media misreported the finance minister. PM in the current parliamentary session expressed that complications regarding Padma project will be solved soon and no alternative souce will be required.

Among all the hopes and contradictions, the dream of people for Padma Bridge still remain unfulfilled.

An ordinary citizen

World Bank: Bangladesh Country Assistance Strategy 2010-2014 September 17, 2010

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World Bank published Country Assistance Strategy for Bangladesh for Fy10- Fy14.

For comparison: Bangladesh Assistance Strategy Fy2006 -2009

Global economic crisis, World Bank and Bangladesh November 29, 2008

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World Bank in a recent press briefing in Dhaka projected that GDP growth in Bangladesh might come down to 4.8% in the current fiscal year from the Government projected 6.5% as readymade garments and remittence inflow will suffer due to global financial crisis.

Mirza Aziz, Finance and Planning Adviser, rejected the the idea and hopes that it might cross 6% and expressed wonder on what basis the world bank officials made the prediction.

Bangladesh Bank Governor Salehuddin Ahmed also dismissed the idea and said,’World Bank projection is grossly an underestimation and is not based on critical analysis.’ He urged for ‘ not to rely on numbers alone’ but ‘to make value judgment.’

On the growth of exports, remittence and agricultural output and ease of inflation, BB Governor opined that the economic fundamentals are stable in Bangladesh. He said that export grew by 42.39% in the first 3 months of of the fiscal year while the remittence inflow were about $ 3 billion from July to October in the current fiscal year.

Apex Body of Garments Exporters BGMEA President said, ‘World Bank prediction is whimsical and unrealistic’. He opined ‘the ongoing global economic recession will rather create opportunites for Bangladesh RMG sector and export will not decline as Bank predicted’. He said,’the comment is irresponsiblle’ as ‘ such comment will make the buyers and bankers nervous in taking business decision, which will ultimately create negative impact on the industry’.

BGMEA urged the present & future governments to avoid the World bank fund in formulating next budget.

An ordinary citizen

World food crisis, World Bank/IMF & Bangladesh April 20, 2008

Posted by bdoza in AGRICULTURE, BANGLADESH, ECONOMY, IMF, World Bank.
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The world is passing through a critical food crisis which has not affect the world for many decades. Already social uncertainty, political unrest and riots start off in many developing countries. […]

World Bank has warned that the present crisis will deepen and will create further deterioration in law and order situation in those countries. But the pity is that the warning from the World Bank came when the situation is already exposed. World Bank has failed miserably in forecasting the situation earlier and more significantly to suggest measures to offset the crisis early. (more…)

World Bank on Bangladesh January 15, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ECONOMY, GOVERNANCE, World Bank.
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The following is the report of World Bank on Bangladesh, though made months back but is still relevant.

Bangladesh has recorded impressive economic and social gains since the 1990s:

  • Steady economic growth of 4-5% annually, relatively low inflation (which may not be true for 2007 under the caretaker government in its first year) , and fairly stable domestic debt, interest, and exchange rates.
  • This growth performance, coupled with an impressive decline in the population growth rate from 2.5% in the 1980s to 1.7% in 1990-2004, has led to a doubling of annual per capita GDP growth, from 1.6% in the 1980s to 3.3% in 1990-2004.
  • In terms of per capita GDP growth, Bangladesh out performed both IDA-only countries and low-income countries in this period. This growth record was also accompanied by more stable growth, itself a function of Bangladesh’s improved disaster management capacity.

[ an ordinary citizen: inflation rate in 2007 does not hold true with the above fact under the caretaker government in their first year where the inflation rate touched the double digit] (more…)

‘Say NO to IMF’ September 17, 2007

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In a round table discussion on 15th September 2007 in the capital it is opined that there is no need of support from organizations like IMF; rather it is now time to say NO to these organizations.

They also said that there is no need to sign Policy Support Instrument(PSI) with IMF. They also urged the Government to disclose the different aspects of PSI to the public. (more…)

Jute Industries: Golden fibre shouldn’t be faded August 18, 2007

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Some statistics in Jute sector:

From 77 Jute Industries in 70’s, now it is 14 in the Government sector. The no of labourers came down fom 250,000 to 45000, no of looms from 26000 to 8000, production of jute came to half.

Last year, Jute sector lost 421 crore of taka. Out of this, 30 crore is for labourers, 140 crore for the delay in the purchase of raw jute, 130 crore for lack of electricity.

In private sector, 56 industries are there; almost all are in bad shape. Looms are 11 thousand 700 in no. Last year only 3400 looms were productive. Only one and a half lac ton jute was produced in the last year though the target was 3 lac ton. 13 thousand permanent and 18 thousand temporary laborer work in the Private Jute mills.

But in private sector 65 twin and spinning mills are making profit. Here 36 thousand labourers are working.