Corruption: Bangladesh & the WB

E-Bangladesh Desk

E-Bangladesh Desk

Corruption and lack of accountability make The World Bank- the most influential money lending firm of the world- one of the “most dysfunctional” in the world, says a report by the Forbes. In a long and detailed report the magazine says, “No one, starting with outgoing President Robert Zoellick, has laid out an articulated vision for what the World Bank’s role is in the 21st century.” 

“It is an endlessly expanding virtual nation-state with supranational powers, a 2011 aid portfolio of $57 billion and little oversight by the governments that fund it,” says the magazine. “And–according to dozens of interviews over the past few weeks, atop hundreds more over the past five years, plus a review of thousands of pages of internal documents–problems have gotten worse, not better, at the World Bank despite more than a decade of reform attempts.”

The Forbes report lists the nature of problems — philosophical, structural and cultural. While its leaders have lacked vision, corruption has crept in, says the report. “Internal reports, reviewed by Forbes, show, for example, that even after Zoellick implemented a budget freeze, some officials operated an off-budget system that defies cost control, while others used revolving doors to game the system to make fortunes for themselves or enhance their positions within the bank.

“Why not track all the cash?

“Good luck: Bank sources cite up to $2 billion that may have gone unaccounted for recently amid computer glitches.”

The report in the July 16 edition of Forbes Magazine coincides with a statement from the Bank’s Washington headquarters announcing cancellation, attributed to “credible evidence of corruption”, of a credit line for Bangladesh’s largest infrastructure project.


214 Responses to “Corruption: Bangladesh & the WB”

  1. Khondkar Abdus Saleque

    WB has definitely taken a hasty prematured action in announcing cancellation of loan to Padma Bridge Project Implementaion .WB cited lack of required actions by Bangladesh Government against supected corrupt person despite of them submitting credible evidences .
    What are those evidences ? SNC Lavalin is the evaluated lowest bidder for supervisory consultancy for the works . A high powered evaluation commitee headed by Dr Jamilur Reza Chowdhury and comprising of Dr Ainun Nishat have worked according to donors guidelines and Bangladesh procurement law . WB had no issues with evaluation . Our question is why an evaluated lowest bidder should bother at all for bribing anyone as it would have got the job in any case . Still on a tip possibly from contenders investigation was initaited against SNC Lavalin .Canadian police has reportedly raided its office , arrested and interrogated two senior executives and confiscated some documents. WB first suspended operation of loan agreement in September 2011 which was followed by other development partners like ABD.IDB and JAICA.
    After getting the allegations offically Government removed and replaced Minister and senior officails and conducted preliminary investigations through ACC . WB and Canadian police were approached to submit evidences . It has come to our notice that some evidences claimed as credible were submitted to PM , FM and Chairman ACC . While government was in the process of evaluating this WB surprisingly cancelled the loan agreement.
    WB itself is engulfed with corruption. Its officails and consultants in diffrent countries are also involved in major corruption.
    We can not argue or defend Bangladesh government in alleged corruption claim in Padma Bridge .But we must protest WB’s premature actions . Let their so called” Credible Evidences” be published for neutral people to evaluate world Bank actions . If these are unproved then WB must seek apology to the people of Bangladesh.

  2. Muhammad Ahmedullah

    Padma Bridge

    The Prime minster of Bangladesh said “We have more than $10 billion in foreign-exchange reserves and it is not a big deal to spend $1 billion from it. Inshallah, we will be able to start the bridge’s construction in time… The people of this country fought a war against powerful Pakistan occupation forces at the call of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and defeated them. We are a triumphant nation. We will be able to build the bridge on our own.” (http://www.thedailystar.net/​newDesign/​news-details.php?nid=241796)

    Don’t you think this is completely crazy. Who owns the $10b of foreign exchange? It belongs to many individuals and businesses in the country , not to the government. Then how can the government decide to spend one billion of people’s money for the construction of the Padma Bridge? Equating this Awami League’s fight back against the WB’s decision to cancel the loan on the ground of corruption with the Bangladeshi people’s struggle against the brutal Pakistani Army’s occupation lead by General Yahaya Khan is completely bizarre. When will this delusion end? Is something of an end game beginning to be seen? What explains this strange reaction?

    Please kindly ponder and find answers.

  3. Dr. Salauddin Ahmed

    “We do not want to keep any Foreign Finance even a single penny for the Padma Bridge Project. We will explore ways of building the bridge with the country’s own resources and coordinate the implementation of the whole project. Inshallah we will construct the bridge with our own money. Therefore, I think it should be investigated and revealed who are behind the corruption”, he said. Dr. Salauddin Ahmed, Phd, YALE, Uttara, Bangladesh.

  4. Sonny KAHN

    The World Bank was created as an elaborate show for maintaining its corrupt and dysfunctional status at Bretton Woods 1944. Corruption in the World Bank is like go ahead and do it, in this institution you’re innocent until you’re investigated. SO, do whatever you want…you are authorized…there is a get-away free-card!! Its title: Employee – WB. WB tacitly projects to all weaker and poorer nations that Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulations. There are rules, policies and laws against it precisely so WB can get away with it. Corruption is WB’s protection. Corruption keeps WB safe and warm. Corruption is why WB and IMF are prancing around in poorer nations instead of fighting over scraps of meat in their own country streets. Corruption is why WB win. This institution is an extended arm of rich governments to control the poor, and as a mean of ripping the poor and keeping the them poor, nothing else.

  5. Sonny KAHN

    A Masterstroke

    Behold Bangladesh here comes the Multi-Purpose Bridge Project over the mighty Parma River, we are finally going to get it. No we did not. Now was this in actuality a technical glitch and/or the WB listening to a powerful nation calling, and if so, what was the message and for who. Let us see here. Every government in the world knows that the WB is no less corrupt and politicized in comparison to all the rest of the world governments combined and is used by rich, powerful government to control. Therefore, in Bangladesh’s case the Padma project would be a fine target. So Did the WB get used again or better yet why did the WB play along. We know its chief Bob Zoellick resigned on the day of the official cancellation and its subsequent announcement, and a new chief sworn in on the next day. What a day to pick, no leadership to touch or point finger at.
    So this masterstroke that was played in case of Bangladesh, for what particular purpose, how, and who is to blame is yet to be understood. The WB along with a host of national governments, notably India, the BD neighbor, fully knows the magnitude of importance of the Padma Bridge Project and what it means for BD, one of the Golden Key’s to its development. The implementation would usher in a host of security, economic and political shifts including regional, new investments including foreign direct, new development projects, linkage of strategic points. The purpose, can be deduced as a show of control, and the blame goes to non other than the BD PM. Halting the project would show the BD PM an example powerful enough that who is in charge on the outside and what reason to humiliate her through her own vices. The WB and Hasina can play the blame game, point the finger at each other can and this being an easy chance for the WB to commit corruption because all knowing, Hasina’s corruption has gone unchecked and unprecedented through the roof, WB officials took it, considering the easy get away. Siphon some off the top or create a reasonable doubt of corruption and just blame it on the recipient or just use the notion and slap it on the Head of State resulting in cancellation of the Project. Hasina herself could not figure out what happened but was caught in her own spiral of shit storm. Her attitude towards Bangladesh and its People is Who Gives A Damn About You All, Just Stew In Your Own Juice, I Have Figures To Count. Robert Zoellick does not have to worry about a thing, no press, no ordering investigations. The new chief will not touch it for so many obvious reasons. No comment or investigation on the issue. Therefore someone up there in the world command chain felt that the BD PM must be shown she does not run Bangladesh from the outside, can’t take her to world court for corruption so ram a wedge through BD. But who in BD is going to go far in blaming the WB or the U.S. and risk future relations. Surely the next government or Hasina and they would not know how. Therefore, Hasina can only suspect someone ELSE besides the WB who is politically much more powerful, say in the international arena who could have had a hand in this, someone in the U. S. Administration, say. Regardless, we are down on our knees again, even If temporarily. Now BD, through its media, intellectuals, academics and politicians must set course a solution and begin anew considering larger aspects of its national security.

  6. Sonny KAHN

    A Masterstroke

    Behold Bangladesh here comes the Multi-Purpose Bridge Project over the mighty Parma River, we are finally got it. No we did not. Now was this in actuality a technical glitch and/or the WB listening to a powerful nation calling, and if so, what was the message and for who. Let us see here. Every government in the world knows that the WB is no less corrupt and politicized in comparison to all the rest of the world governments combined and is used by rich, powerful government to control. Therefore, in Bangladesh’s case the Padma project would be a fine target. So Did the WB get used again or better yet why did the WB play along. We know its chief Bob Zoellick resigned on the day of the official cancellation and its subsequent announcement, and a new chief sworn in on the next day. What a day to pick, no leadership to touch or point finger at.
    So this masterstroke that was played in case of Bangladesh, for what particular purpose, how, and who is to blame is yet to be understood. The WB along with a host of national governments, notably India, the BD neighbor, fully knows the magnitude of importance of the Padma Bridge Project and what it means for BD, one of the Golden Key’s to its development. The implementation would usher in a host of security, economic and political shifts including regional, new investments including foreign direct, new development projects, linkage of strategic points. The purpose, can be deduced as a show of control, and the blame goes to non other than the BD PM. Halting the project would show the BD PM an example powerful enough that who is in charge on the outside and what reason to humiliate her through her own vices. The WB and Hasina can play the blame game, point the finger at each other can and this being an easy chance for the WB to commit corruption because all knowing, Hasina’s corruption has gone unchecked and unprecedented through the roof, WB officials took it, considering the easy get away. Siphon some off the top or create a reasonable doubt of corruption and just blame it on the recipient or just use the notion and slap it on the Head of State resulting in cancellation of the Project. Hasina herself could not figure out what happened but was caught in her own spiral of shit storm. Her attitude towards Bangladesh and its People is Who Gives A Damn About You All, Just Stew In Your Own Juice, I Have Figures To Count. Robert Zoellick does not have to worry about a thing, no press, no ordering investigations. The new chief will not touch it for so many obvious reasons. No comment or investigation on the issue. Therefore someone up there in the world command chain felt that the BD PM must be shown she does not run Bangladesh from the outside, can’t take her to world court for corruption so ram a wedge through BD. But who in BD is going to go far in blaming the WB or the U.S. and risk future relations. Surely the next government or Hasina and they would not know how. Therefore, Hasina can only suspect someone ELSE besides the WB who is politically much more powerful, say in the international arena who could have had a hand in this, someone in the U. S. Administration, say. Regardless, we are down on our knees again, even If temporarily. Now BD, through its media, intellectuals, academics and politicians must set course a solution and begin anew considering larger aspects of its national security.

  7. adnan

    being an LDC nation we cannot throw challenges to any capitalist financial organization like WB,IMF,WTO etc.they are our lords & they drive the world’s economy by their own wishes.so, we have to take their loan on padma bridge project at any cost..

  8. Adv,A.H.M.Mainuddin Ahmed(Jahangir)

    To Tackle corruption is a big challenge here in Bangladesh.We knew what,s happening n an open secret.poor are getting more poorer but so called politician/corrupt bureaucrat have scopes t have more resources n no accountability. Tax money is being also misused by purchasing cars f MPs with out taxes!Where 90% population living under poverty.Democracy is being mishandled. Every where Human rights are being violated n people looking f fairer justice systems! the legal cost is so high n poor can not afford!If y have then y have all!
    We are living in an imperfect world.

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