Anti-graft steps crucial: Okada
Fri, May 4th, 2012 3:11 pm BdST
Dhaka, May 4 (bdnews24.com) – The Japanese deputy prime minister, Katsuya Okada, has urged Bangladesh to take effective anti-corruption steps for ensuring transparent spending of Japanese taxpayers' money.
Okada made the remark at a press briefing at the Shahjalal airport before his departure for Colombo on Friday.
Japan so far provided about $10 billion in aid to Bangladesh.
The Japanese minister in reply to a question said it could not finance the Padma bridge project alone and would be in touch with the World Bank to break the deadlock.
The World Bank, the lead financier of the $2.9 billion project, has stalled the funding process over a corruption allegation. The Asian Development Bank, JICA and Islamic Development Bank are the other financiers.
He, however, said: "We remain committed to the project."
Metro rail project
Okada said the Metro rail project was under "active consideration" of Japan.
Bangladesh is negotiating with different development partners to implement the big project aimed to reduce traffic jam in the capital city.
The minister said the Japanese companies were interested in investing in Bangladesh but poor infrastructure and shortage of gas and power held them back.
He hoped that Japanese investment would rapidly increase after the improvement of the infrastructure situation in the country.
The minister in reply to another question said that he guessed there were some human rights problems in the country, which he said had to be resolved domestically.
The Japanese minister came to Dhaka on Thursday on a two-day visit and met prime minister Sheikh Hasina and leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia, and held official talks with foreign minister Dipu Moni.
Anti-graft steps crucial: Okada | Bangladesh | bdnews24.com