News Column

More fund for Padma Bridge project in next budget: Muhith

February 17, 2014

Dhaka, Feb 17 (UNB) – Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Monday said that more fund will be allocated for the Padma Bridge project in the next budget.

Briefing reporters on the issue at Bangladesh Secretariat, he also mentioned that a very small amount of the allocated fund for the project has been spent so far.

Only some amounts of allocated fund were spent for the construction of the approach road, Muhith said, adding that most of the fund remained unutilized in the current budget because the major contracts for the project were not awarded.

About the allocation of more funds for the project, he said that when the contractors are selected, they might seek advance payment for their work.

The Finance Minister said that about US$ 2.10 billion might be borrowed from the banking system for the construction of the Padma Bridge and every year a portion of the fund will be allocated for the project.

He said the allocated fund will be sent to the banks and against this payment, foreign currency will be taken from the banks.

Official sources said the Padma Bridge project will get an allocation of US$ 200 million in the budget of 2013-14 fiscal $ 700 million in 2014-15 $ 600 million in 2015-16 $ 500 million in 2016-17 and $ 100 million in the budget of 2017-18 fiscal.

Muhith said the construction expense of the Padma Bridge will be met through the foreign currency like the payment made for import of petroleum fuel.

MuhiHe said the country’s foreign currency reserve stands at US$ 18.76 billion. This reserve is not for having as food, but for better utilization, he added.

Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Atiur Rahman said an account has been opened with state-owned Agrani Bank. The allocated fund against the Padma Bridge will go to this account and the bank will make disbursement to meet the project expenses.

“In any case, if the Argani Bank fails, the central bank will come forward in its support to ensure the payment,” he added.

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Source: United News of Bangladesh

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