Dhaka, June 30 (bdnews24.com)—The Finance Minister has slammed the World Bank for its decision to cancel the US$ 1.2 billion Padma bridge loan, and called it unacceptable.
"I have serious doubts about whether the World Bank can at all issue such a statement," A M A Muhith told bdnews24.com in the first reaction from a senior government functionary since the Bank statement late Friday.
"To me, this sounds more like a personal statement from the former president Robert Zoellick rather than the Bank itself," Muhith said Saturday afternoon.
The Bank said in the statement that it was cancelling the single largest credit line in its history because it had "credible evidence of corruption".
AMA Muhith, talking to bdnews24.com, said the multi-billion dollar project had only spent Tk 1200 crore (roughly US$ 150 million) and that the government had had no proof of any wrongdoing by anyone so far.
"The World Bank allegation is totally false and incorrect," the minister said.
"For the last nine months since the Bank came up with the charge, we have been conducting inquiries and found nothing," he said.
The finance minister said he would make a formal statement in parliament on Monday.
Muhith and other senior government figures including the Prime Minister have always rejected the charge and even defiantly spoken of finding an alternative source of funding.