'Bangla successful in anti-corruption reforms'

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Dhaka, Dec 17: The caretaker government in Bangladesh has made landmark achievements in anti-corruption and institutional reforms, World Bank vice-president Praful C Patel said.

Mr Patel, however said government's administrative processes have slowed down because of the capacity restraint that has prevented the bureaucracy from deciding and implementing simple projects. ''We're very concerned about the slow down,'' Mr Patel said adding that uncertainty looms as the government's reform plans might go awry in the second half of the next year when election preparations will be in full swing.

''Although the election roadmap is on course, I am a realist, and to protect the development agenda, prudent development leaders and partners cannot take anything for granted, '' he added.

''From experiences elsewhere in the world, we do not want to be caught off-guard. So we have to think of alternative scenarios, such as thinking about what we will do if the elections are delayed,'' he said adding that they expect the people of the country will not settle for anything less than fulfilment of the promises of the 'full roadmap' to a free, fair and credible election.

He said the reforms will have long term positive impacts and those 'have to be done' to catch up with the fast moving world and the region, adding that the Bangladeshi people and the country's economy are resilient enough to recover from the negative shocks.

Bangladesh is still on course to become a middle-income country by 2016 despite multiple floods, cyclone Sidr, and the various economic shocks from the anti-corruption drive and wide-ranging institutional reforms, the Daily Star quoted the World Bank VP as saying.

He said the caretaker government's economic performance and anti-corruption success should not be taken lightly, given the fact that those were carried out concurrently with the change of government and external economic shocks.


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