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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:41 AM
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Corruption in India like Africa: WB official
Bribery in the World Bank's lending methods is as rampant as ever, says a former Bank official who has written a book on this corruption.
Steve Berkman contends that Indian IT majors Satyam and Wipro , who were barred from World Bank projects for offering their stock to Bank officials, represent a miniscule problem compared to the kickbacks and commissions that go to government officials for approval of Bank projects.

Berkman, who was an advisor to various project teams within the Bank on human resource issues and capacity building, retired from the Bank in 2002. He is the author of an expose on corruption in this multilateral institution titled, The World Bank and the Gods of Lending, based on his 16-year experience auditing Bank projects, including the $800 million loan to health sector projects in India.

While most of his experiences were in Africa and Latin America, he said the corruption "I've seen there (in India) is no different than what I've seen in Africa and other places."

In an interview with rediff India Abroad, Berkman said he strongly believes that Paul Wolfowitz was pushed out of his position as World Bank president after an entrenched bureaucracy at the Bank disliked his anti-corruption campaign and not because of the mini-scandal about his girlfriend, which "was more of a side-show."

The problems for Wolfowitz -- a former Bush administration official -- began in July 2005 when Berkman said he suspended the massive Bank loan for health sector projects in India because of allegations of corruption.

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