WASHINGTON, United States – The World Bank's decision to cancel a $1.2 billion loan to Bangladesh on corruption allegations was "appropriate," new bank president Jim Yong Kim said on his first day on the job Monday (July 2nd), according to AFP.
Kim inherited the controversy, which has angered officials in Dhaka, from his predecessor Robert Zoellick. The bank announced cancellation of the loan on Friday, Zoellick's final day.
"We are very concerned about the well-being of the poorest people in Bangladesh," Kim said. "But what I must stress is that the bank's position is that it does not tolerate corruption."
On Friday, the bank cancelled its $1.2 billion financing for the $3 billion Padma Bridge project, saying the government had not co-operated in investigating "high-level" corruption in the project.
The bridge, designed to carry a highway and rail line, is aimed at transforming the country's impoverished south. Traffic currently moves across the river by slow ferries.
Bangladesh's Communications Minister Obaidul Quader called the decision "unfortunate, regrettable – and mysterious," adding that it does "not necessarily mean that corruption charges have been confirmed".
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