ADB extends GG fund closing date up to Dec 31Mustafizur Rahman
The Asian Development Bank has extended the deadline by another year for meeting its conditions to disburse the remaining $45 million dollar fund for the Good Governance Programme.
‘ADB has extended the loan closing date of the subject [Good Governance] Programme and the completion of the related tranche actions up to 31 December, 2012,’ ADB country director Teressa Kho said in a letter to cabinet secretary Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan.
ADB through the letter issued on Wednesday (April 25) requested the Cabinet Division and the law ministry to ‘steer timely implementation of the remaining tranche actions’ that include legislation for establishing an independent prosecution/attorney service and legislation for prescribing specific qualifications for the recruitment of Supreme Court judges.
The release of around Tk 365 crore loan from the ADB became uncertain because of the government’s failure to comply with the funding agency’s conditions by the December 31, 2011, said officials.
In March 2012, ADB assured the government of extending the deadline by another year for meeting its conditions to release the fund.
A delegation from ADB which included finance sector director for South Asian Department Bruno Carrasco and Bangladesh country director Teressa Kho held separate meetings with cabinet secretary Mushrraf Hossian and law minister Sahfique Ahmed at the secretariat on March 7 on the donor funded Good Governance Programme following the government’s request to extend the deadline that expired in last December.
The government is reportedly working on the ADB’s loan conditions that include approval of a national integrity strategy, establishment of the office of ombudsman, legislation for prescribing specific qualifications for recruitment of Supreme Court judges and legislation for establishing an independent prosecution service.
Law minister Shafique Ahmed said after the meeting that it would not be possible for the government to establish an independent attorney service by the time in the present economic situation of the country.
He told ADB that the idea of independent attorney service could be piloted in some districts.
‘The government should look into how viable such a service would be in the country’s context as it would require a lot of money to provide the salaries and other logistics to the government law officers,’ the minister told New Age earlier.
Last year, the ADB informed the government that ‘no further extension was possible’ for the release of the third tranche of funds for the $150-million donor-funded programme which began in 2006–07.
The government had already decided in principle to establish the office of ombudsman and to formulate a national integrity strategy and had also made some progress in this regard, said a senior official concerned.
The GGP is a four-year programme and the loan is designed to be released in three tranches on the condition that the government of Bangladesh meet corresponding tranche release conditions.
The first tranche of $50 million was disbursed in November 2007 following which the government carried out reforms in the Anti-Corruption Commission, took steps to separate the judiciary from the executive and recruited 604 judicial officers.
comments powered by Disqus