WB wants deal on immunity

WB wants deal on immunity

SAM Staff,

The World Bank has urged the Bangladesh government to sign an agreement to provide it with full immunity.

Finance minister AMA Muhith on Thursday revealed the WB’s intention during the annual general meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Yokohama, Japan.

He was talking to reporters after meetings with the governor of the Bank of Japan Haruhiko Kuroda and JICA president Shinichi Kitaoka at Hotel Pacifico Yokohama.

Muhith said WB has been enjoying immunity in the country for long without any agreement.

Nobody cared about immunity when WB started lending programmes in Bangladesh in mid-1970s, he said.

But now the WB wanted an agreement on immunity after the much talked about case in the Canadian court, he said.

On February 10, the Canadian Court acquitted LNC-Lavalin officials of the allegation of corruption raised by the WB in 2011-12 in the country’s largest bridge project.

The WB also suspended US$ 1.2 billion loan to the Padma Bridge project citing the conspiracy of corruption that forced the government to construct the bridge with its own finance.

Muhith said the government would consider the WB plea in due course of time.

He said there was already an agreement with ADB on immunity.

He said the ADB lauded the country’s growth performance that was recorded at seven per cent in the last fiscal year that ended in June 2016.

He also said ADB’s forecast on the country’s growth was good.

Earlier, Muhith arrived in Japan on Thursday morning to attend the ADB’s 50th annual general meeting at the picturesque city of Yokohama, some 24 kilometres away from Tokyo.