-  Sunday 28 February 2021

WB concerned about CIAA charges

 -  The Kathmandu Post

July 02 2007 - The World Bank (WB) has expressed serious concerns over allegations of fraud committed in a WB financed contract administered by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and expressed hope that the ongoing probe will be conducted in a professional manner.

"We take these allegations very seriously and hope that the investigations are carried out in a professional manner and on the basis of credible evidence," said Susan Goldmark, World Bank Country Director for Nepal.

WB's reaction came after the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) filed a case against NRB governor Bijaya Nath Bhattarai and a senior officer, for their alleged involvement in corruption in a project under its financial support.

The statement also said the WB is carrying out its internal review on the allegations and the circumstances around them. "At this point, we can confirm that the World Bank provided its no objection to both the award and termination of NRB's contract with IEF Inc under routine World Bank procedures," she added.

Furthermore, we have received a copy of the consultant's Inception Report, which was the basis for NRB's release of payment to IEF Inc, she said. "We hope that the uncertainty will clear soon so that Nepal's attention can be refocused on the important task of reforming the financial sector," said Ms Goldmark.

The WB has also expressed hope that recent developments do not undermine the morale of staff at NRB, who are leading reform efforts in a very challenging environment.

Meanwhile, central bank employees Sunday staged a protest against CIAA for filing charges against the governor and a senior NRB official, terming the allegations baseless and ill-intentioned.

They organized a protest rally from NRB central Office at Baluwatar to the CIAA's premises. Likewise, issuing a press release, Nepal Bankers' Association (NBA) has expressed shock over CIAA's charges against the top NRB officials.

"The action can adversely affect financial sector reform, the banking sector and the economy as a whole," the NBA said in the release. It has expressed hope that the case will be dealt with swiftly in order to prevent protracted confusion in the financial sector.

The Special Court continued its hearing on whether to detain or release the accused Surendra Man Pradhan, executive director of NRB. Earlier, Pradhan submitted his statement to the court.

Source : The Kathmandu Post 

Other articles by reporter The Kathmandu Post

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