ADB implementing package for good governance in Bangladesh

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Singapore, Nov 6 (UNI) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is extending a financial assistance package that will better equip the Bangladeshi Government in its fight against corruption and establish good governance, paving the way for more rapid and inclusive economic growth.

ADB is providing a 150 million dollar loan to be disbursed in three tranches over a period of four years for the Good Governance Programme of Bangladesh.

The Bank is also extending a 1.5 million dollar grant for a technical assistance program that will enhance the capability of concerned agencies in implementing policy reforms and effectively manage the Good Governance Programme.

Denmark's Human Rights and Good Governance Programme is providing a one million dollar grant, while the government of Bangladesh is extending 500,000 dollars to complete the financing for the technical assistance.

''Corruption is a telling indicator of poor governance in developing countries, and this has been in evidence in Bangladesh as well over the years,'' said Gambhir Bhatta, senior governance specialist of ADB's South Asia Department.

Surveys conducted by organisations inside and outside the country have highlighted this problem, including that corruption adversely impacts not only the economy at the macro level but also individuals and households at the micro level, particularly those in the low-income brackets.

A large part of the problem in governance in Bangladesh has to do with the low level of internal accountability and transparency in the public sector. In the absence of checks and balances, decisions based on adequate consensus tend not to be the norm.

At the moment, there is no programme in the country targeting corruption through a broad and comprehensive approach. The Good Governance Programme fills that void.

''The current government has taken a strong stand on developing major reforms to address the problem of corruption. The Good Governance Programme is in line with the government's priorities on good governance and contributes directly to desired outcomes in this sector,'' Mr Bhatta said.

The programme seeks to strengthen the ongoing consensus building on good governance, integrity and anticorruption reforms; support judicial reforms with a focus on the performance, transparency and accountability of the judiciary, particularly on its role in the anticorruption agenda; strengthen the role and reach of the government's Anticorruption Commission; and bring good governance and anticorruption initiatives into the mainstream within selected sector level agencies to enhance their effectiveness.

The result will be a set of long-term policy reforms in good governance, particularly those related to instituting good practices in combating corruption, specifically at the sector agency level.

The loan will also help the government formulate and implement a country-specific anti-corruption vision and strategy.

UNI

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