Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Tuesday said the commitment from the World Bank is likely to reach $ 2.8 billion in the current fiscal year (2013-14).
“The World Bank has already committed $ 1.7 billion aid to Bangladesh for the current fiscal year and we’re expecting that with three more months remaining, the total commitment from the World Bank would reach $ 2.8 billion,” Muhith said.
Emerging from the meeting, the World Bank Vice President also talked to the journalists and said that Bangladesh’s GDP growth is expected to reach 6.5 percent in the next fiscal year (FY 15) although the growth will slightly slow down in the current year.
“We believe that the growth is going to resume, but the challenge is not to resume it from 6 percent…it’s to raise it from 6 percent to 8 percent or more,” he added.
Asked about the high hope for Bangladesh’s economic potentials, the World Bank Vice President, who came here on his first visit, said, “I can give you scientific explanation. But, the truth is that in the last 2-3 days in the field, I’ve seen the dynamics, the entrepreneurship, the commitment and the creativity of the Bangladeshi people that I met everywhere.”
He went on saying, “In remote and rural areas of Chittagong, I’ve seen entrepreneurship and creativity among people, which is amazing. This is not scientific, but powerful.”
Terming the Padma Bridge project as a national very important project for Bangladesh, Philippe said the government has decided to implement the project of its own and what is important in this regard is to see the infrastructure is get done in the end.
Replying to another question on whether there was any scope from the Washington-based lending agency to rejoin the PadmaBridge funding, Philippe said, “Since the fund is not put in Padma, so then it was put in somewhere else. Needs are enormous. So, there is not an issue from the financing side.”
The Visiting World Bank vice president also expressed his organisation’s intent to continue support in Bangladesh’s infrastructure, energy, transport, education, health, social empowerment, social protection, improving regulatory framework, and agriculture.
He also attributed Bangladesh’s success in alleviating some 16 million Bangladeshi people out of extreme poverty due to good growth rate as well as very good social policies.
According to the ERD, out of the total disbursed amount of foreign aid for the July-February period of the current fiscal year amounting $ 1,827 million, the World Bank came out as the top lender during this eight-month period disbursing $ 668.39 million followed by ADB with $ 347.51 million, JICA with $ 223.40 million and China with $ 223.83 million in loans.