Root out graft

Published: Tuesday 15 June 2004

-- Multilateral donors have warned Bangladesh that they might slash aid or withdraw it altogether from the impoverished country, if it fails to fulfil commitments to control corruption. The adoption of such remedial measures can prop up Bangladesh's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2-3 per cent from its present 5.5 per cent, say donors.

The World Bank-led donor group observed at the annual Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) meeting that the country could bag more aid if it strived to ameliorate the situation. The government, while admitting the need for improvement, stressed that Bangladesh's crime rate was much lower than that of New York. Finance minister Saifur Rahman even said that corruption in foreign-aided projects was a "two-way" affair and donors should help to curb it. Meanwhile, the 32 donors at the BDF refused to give Bangladesh aid for next year's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.

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