Dr Yunus gets invitation to Padma Bridge inauguration

Dr Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel laureate who has repeatedly been accused by the government of drumming up corruption allegations over the Padma Bridge project, has been sent an invitation to the bridge’s inauguration.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 23 June 2022, 10:19 AM
Updated : 23 June 2022, 03:28 PM

“Yesterday, we received the invitation to the inauguration of Padma Bridge,” said Lamiya Morshed, the executive director of the Yunus Centre, a nonprofit organisation focused on the Grameen Bank founder’s social work.

“He [Dr Yunus] has received the invitation letter.”

Asked whether Dr Yunus would attend the event on Saturday, Lamiya said:

“He is in the country, but he has not yet informed us whether he is going. However, he has received the invitation.”

The World Bank was supposed to finance part of the construction of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge. A decade ago, Bangladesh finalised a $1.2 billion loan contract for the project with an initial estimated cost of $2.9 billion.

But the Washington-based agency suspended its loan after raising complaints of corruption over the appointment of consultants for Bangladesh's longest bridge.

Despite several efforts by the administration of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the World Bank refused to restore its funding for the project. Bangladesh then decided to proceed with the project using its own funds.

Hasina has repeatedly accused Dr Yunus of influencing the World Bank’s decision on the matter.

Cases by the Anti-Corruption Commission and a Canadian court failed to prove the allegations of corruption.

Several of the Awami League’s political opponents, including the BNP, have been invited to the inauguration of the Padma Bridge on Jul 25.