The controversy over a multi-billion bridge project in Bangladesh today took a ugly turn with a top official accusing the World Bank of engaging a spy network in Dhaka which is dishing out “misleading” information to the global lender.
“There’s a World Bank spy network here (Dhaka)… They have passed on false and misleading information to the Bank,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s economic affairs adviser Moshiur Rahman told newsmen.
Rahman,a bureaucrat-turned-technocrat adviser with ministerial status,also dismissed media reports that he went for a long leave for his alleged involvement in the “corruption conspiracy” over the Padma Bridge as the government was desperately trying to revive the loan deal.
“No such thing happened (going on leave)… but the more important matter is — we all should ask the World Bank who are misleading them with false information,” he said.
The World Bank earlier promised to provide USD 1.2 billion of the USD 2.93 billion project but kept suspended the disbursement process raising the graft allegation.
On June 29,the global lending agency eventually scrapped the deal saying the government did not respond in an excepted manner to their complaint about the “high level corruption conspiracy” involving Bangladeshi officials,executives of a Canadian firm and private individuals.
Rahman’s comments came as two fellow advisers to the premier flew off to the global lending agency’s headquarters in Washington to pursue them to reinstate the USD 1.2 billion loan agreement.
The Asian Development Bank had also pledged a USD 615 million loan for the bridge’s construction.