Tofail also wants Padma graft-allegation makers to apologise

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Dhaka : Echoing Prime Minister’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Sunday urged those TV talk-show panelists and intellectuals raised the corruption allegation in Padma Bridge project in their bid to malign the government should now apologise.

“There had been efforts to stigmatise us in the name of a corruption conspiracy. It’s now proved it was not a corruption conspiracy, but a plot against Bangladesh over the Padma Bridge,” he said.

The minister further said, “Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s names had emerged to have involved in the plot… some people here also talked in the same tune in talk-shows. Their allegation proved now false through the court verdict…they should apologise now.”

Tofail came up with the remarks while addressing Janata Bank’s annual conference-2017 at a city hotel.

In June 2012, the World Bank had cancelled its $1.2 billion fund commitment for the construction of Padma Bridge bringing graft allegations, forcing the government to implement the project with its own fund.

However, a Canadian court on Friday dismissed the graft allegation in the Padma Bridge project and acquitted three business executives of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

After the court verdict, Prime Minister’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy through a post on his verified Facebook page said, “Those people who took sides against Bangladesh are unpatriotic. They also owe Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her Awami League Government and all the people whose reputation they hurt an apology.”

Tofail said there should not be politics over a sensitive sector like the banking one. “All officials concerned of the sector must work sincerely.”

He suggested making a list to realise the default loan and taking effective steps so that no new loan defaulter emerges.

The minister also asked the authorities concerned to take strong measures to check corruption in the sector.

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