WB loan cancellation regrettable: TIBUnited News of Bangladesh . Dhaka
The World Bank’s cancellation of the $1.2 billion credit as part of the $2.9 billion Padma bridge project is deeply regrettable, embarrassing and disappointing, Transparency International Bangladesh said on Saturday.
The TIB called upon the government to set up a fully independent special judicial committee to investigate the allegations of corruption and ensure exemplary punishment to those found guilty.
The graft watchdog body also called upon the World Bank to continue to engage with the government to assist the investigation process and keep the credit open parallel with the investigation process.
Reacting to the World Bank decision to cancel the credit, the TIB executive director, Iftekharuzzaman, in a statement said, ‘The decision is not the end of the story of the government’s relationship with the Bank in connection with the Padma bridge, but the beginning of a new phase.’
It comes as an acid-test for the government, which must demonstrate to the nation that it has the courage and capacity to bring to justice those against whom allegation of corruption has been raised and provide exemplary punishment, if found guilty, he added.
‘We call upon the government to set up a special judicial committee with full power, independence and technical support, to investigate the matter and recommend action in accordance with the relevant laws within a specific deadline,’ he also said.
The report of the committee must be published for public information alongside submitting it to the relevant authorities, the TIB statement said.
While investigations into the alleged corruption continues in Bangladesh and Canada, to which the World Bank should provide full support, it should review the decision, and find ways to provide the credit by sharing the responsibility as a key fiduciary agent of the project to ensure integrity, transparency and accountability in the implementation process.
‘Neither the World Bank, nor the government can punish the people of the country for an alleged crime of a handful of people,’ Iftekharuzzaman said.
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