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Int’l tenders for Padma project by June: Muhith

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Tuesday said the government would invite international tenders by June next for the construction of the country’s much-hyped 6.15-kilometre long Padma Multipurpose Bridge project.

“Tender documents will be out in next month or in first week of June for Padma,” he told a pre-budget meeting with the Economic Reporters Forum (ERD) at his ministry.

Muhith informed that the tenders would be floated for three types of works -- consultants to supervise the construction of the bridge, construction of the main bridge and river training. The work for the project’s tender would begin from where it got stuck, he added.

The Finance Minister said a ‘black listed’ company will be excluded from the tender process. Mentioning that Tk 2,300 crore would be spent on Padma till the end of this fiscal year, the Finance Minister said Tk 6,800 crore would be allocated for Padma in fiscal 2013-14, Tk 7,800 crore in fiscal 2014-15, Tk 5,000 crore in the 2015-16 fiscal and finally Tk 2,300 crore for the 2016-17 fiscal when the construction work on the bridge would be completed.

Muhith said $200 million Indian grant had been set aside for the project and mentioned the government’s plan to collect another $1 billion from the international market through issuing sovereign bonds.

The Finance Minister said the government has already approved tenders for constructing the connecting bridge at Jazira Point and its contract would be signed soon. A contractor for the Mawa Point would be appointed, likely by two weeks, he said.

Reiterating that the government would construct the bridge with its own funding, Muhith, however, said the scope would remain there for others to come up.

He told another questioner that if the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) want to come back in the Padma project, they would be welcomed to come back.

Both the ADB and JICA pulled out of the project on February 2 after the government retracted its request for funding to the World Bank. Both the ADB and JICA were to provide $ 1 billion for the project.

The Washington-based lender World Bank and the government locked horns over corruption allegations on awarding the project consultancy.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/asianet/130410/int-l-tenders-padma-project-june-muhith