All banks must open Padma Bridge donation accounts in all branches
Bangladesh Bank has ordered all commercial banks to open accounts to collect donations as the government plans to finance the Padma bridge with own resources.
The central bank issued a circular to chief executives of all commercial banks on Wednesday about opening the accounts and transfer of the money to the government treasury.
The circular asked all banks to open accounts on behalf of the government at all their scheduled branches for collecting donations from Bangladeshi residents and expatriates. They will maintain the accounts until further notice.
Money raised in local and foreign currencies with the scheduled banks will be deposited at the local office of Sonali Bank that will open two accounts – one for accepting contributions in local currency and the other in foreign currencies.
The banks are to open foreign currency accounts for expatriates in their foreign or approved branches.
The branches will have to submit a monthly statement to the Finance Division on deposits and transfers of the funds to Sonali Bank’s local offices and a copy to the Executive Director of Bangladesh Bridge Authority.
The central bank made it clear that no service charge can be taken for these accounts.
Building Bangladesh’s biggest-ever infrastructure became uncertain after the World Bank cancelled its $ 1.2 billion loan agreement for the $ 2.9 billion project on the grounds of corruption.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina then announced that if no-one else was on board, the bridge will be built with own financing.
Bridging the river with own funds is one of the four financing options the government is pursuing as funds pledged by the other donors also became uncertain.
Malaysia offered to erect the structure as the government locked in a war of words with the World Bank and on Apr 10 signed a memorandum of understanding in Kuala Lumpur
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said on Sunday, after meeting Malaysia’s Special Envoy S Samy Vellu, that Malaysia will submit a final proposal on the Padma bridge project in three weeks.