CA wants WB to come with bigger package for infrastructure dev
Thursday, 31 January 2008

UNB . Dhaka

The chief adviser, Fakhruddin Ahmed, on Tuesday hoped that the World Bank would come up with bigger package for long-term permanent infrastructure development in Bangladesh, including rebuilding the cyclone Sidr-hit areas.

The chief adviser expressed the optimism when the visiting World Bank vice-president, Praful C Patel, called on him at the Chief Adviser's Office and discussed various socio-economic issues.

Fakhruddin thanked the multilateral funding agency for its announcement on Monday to provide 100 million US dollars in budgetary support to Bangladesh, particularly for rehabilitation works in the aftermath of the super-cyclone Sidr.

He said the government had been able to address the immediate needs and problems in the cyclone-affected areas and hoped that the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other development partners would extend support to its long-term agenda.

In this regard, he mentioned his meeting with development partners on long-term rehabilitation programme in the cyclone-ravaged coastal belt.

The top WB executive said the bank had made assessment for medium and long-term rehabilitation programmes and soon they would provide monetary assistance.

Praful said the WB would come up with bigger package for fiscal 2007-08 and pledged $500 million in budgetary support for fiscal 2007-08. He apprised the chief adviser of bank's need assessment of $4 billion for overall infrastructure development of Bangladesh in next 15 years.

The WB executive appreciated government's steps for overall progress in macroeconomic field and hoped that the trend would continue.

'Development partners are supportive to the medium and long-term rehabilitation schemes for cyclone-hit coastal belt,' he said.

Praful mentioned the Bank's initiative for regional integration among SAARC countries in some specific areas, like water, energy, trade and electricity. 'ADB and Japan are very supportive to regional integration,' he added.

Referring to the four major areas, including water, electricity and environment, focused in last SAARC summit in New Delhi last April, the chief adviser said if the member-countries could make progress on any of the issues before next SAARC summit, it would be better for all in the region.

WB country representative Xian Zhu, ERD secretary Aminul Islam Bhuiyan, secretary to Chief Adviser's Office Kazi M Aminul Islam and chief adviser's press secretary Syed Fahim Munaim were also present.

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