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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2589

World Bank terms Anti-Corruption Commission in Bangladesh a 'joke'

Dhaka, 18 May, (INS + Asiantribune.com): A top official of the World Bank termed the Anti-Corruption Commission in Bangladesh a ‘joke’ and urged the government to make the institution effective in the combat against corruption.

‘The commission has become a joke and I have said that to the Prime Minister, Khaleda Zia, and urged her to undertake efforts to make the commission effective and functional,’ Praful Patel, Vice-President of the multilateral lending agency, said at a news briefing at a hotel in the capital city.

The bank’s Country Director Christine I. Wallich and senior economist Alma Kanai, and the Resident Representative of the Asian Development Bank, Hua Du, were also present at the briefing, organized to mark the launching of the bank’s country assistance strategies for Bangladesh for 2006-09. The CAS envisages a lending programme involving around $3 billion.

Patel said political disagreements should be resolved through discussions and debates in the Parliament. ‘We are extremely concerned about the next elections as certain disagreements between political parties have so far not been resolved.’ Investment, government and empowerment of the poor have been marked as three priority areas in the CAS document, according to its summary, which was distributed among journalists.

The principal focus in governance will be to increase transparency and accountability and reduce corruption, according to the CAS.

‘The WB will also support the strengthening of key institutions of accountability, including the comptroller and auditor general, public accounts committee, Bangladesh Bank, the public service commission, securities and exchange commission, as well as the “core” governance processes of public financial and budgetary management, public procurement, the National Board of Revenue, and legal and judicial reform, in collaboration with other development partners,’ reads the CAS.

On the improvement of investment climate, it says the bank will support sector governance reforms and investments in the power sector, water and sewerage, roads, railways and urban development.

Besides, the bank will support sector governance reforms and investment in health, education, sanitation, local government strengthening and safety net approaches under its area of empowering the poor.

- INS + Asian Tribune -

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