Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said this while distributing awards among the journalists at the Central on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) in the city on Wednesday.
Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) awarded a total of 22 journalists from print, electronics and photography categories for their contribution in their respective sector in 2015.
“Bangladesh Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could be increased by 1.2% over existing 7.1%, if the Padma bridge was built within the earlier estimated deadline of 2015,” said Ahmed.
The minister said: “While the GDP of South Asia was increased by 3%, unfortunately, Bangladesh could not achieve it as the construction of Padma bridge was delayed after the World Bank cancelled its promised fund for the mega project in the wake of a conspiracy hatched by a group of people.”
“The conspirators have to apologise to the nation for their activities against the nation.”
The minister, however, said: “The construction of Padma bridge, which is now going on in full sewing with our own fund, would be completed by 2018.”
“As a country in the world cannot be developed without developing its housing sector, consultants would be appointed for Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) to use the deposited money of Bangladesh Bank for the development of this sector,’’ he said.
Presided over by REHAB President Alamgir Shamsul Alim, its Vice Presidents Nurunnabi Chowdhuri Shawon and Liakot Ali Bhuiyan and Director Kamal Mahmud also attended the award giving ceremony.