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M'sian delegation to Dhaka with preliminary proposal for Padma Bridge

NEW DELHI (May 14): A Malaysian delegation is expected to arrive in Bangladesh soon with a preliminary proposal for the construction of the much talked-about 6.15Km Padma Bridge.

"We are waiting for the proposal. Nothing is finalised (yet). We will listen to the Malaysian delegation and go through the proposal they make," The Financial Express of Bangladesh reported, quoting Bridges Division Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam.

The delegation will give some idea of financing and construction of the bridge in their proposal since the two governments have concluded preliminary formalities after the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU).

"The delegation will arrive any time," said a senior official of the Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA), the executing agency of the estimated US$3 billion (RM9.24 billion) project.

He said the BBA has been directed to work on its capacity building to negotiate and oversee the new kind of project proposal from the South East Asian country.

Since the row between the government and the project's main financier, World Bank, ensued over corruption in the bidding process that made uncertain the financing of the multi-donor project, the government has been looking for an alternative funding source and Malaysia was the first country that offered to provide assistance for the project.

Though the government has continued its efforts to resolve the crisis with the World Bank, it also negotiated with the Malaysian government to fulfil its election pledge. — Bernama

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