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Economy Apr 4, 2012

NHAI scam: Nitish demands probe in World Bank allegations

Patna: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar described as 'extremely serious' a World Bank report on bribery in highway project and NHAI officials being put up in posh hotels and offered gold coins and demanded a 'thorough probe' into it.

The guilty should be punished, Kumar said and added he had doubts in his mind about scam in Lucknow-Muzaffarpur highway.

"It is a serious issue. There should be a high level probe into it," Nitish Kumar told media persons here.

The guilty should be punished, Kumar said and added he had doubts in his mind about scam in Lucknow-Muzaffarpur highway. Reuters

Nitish Kumar, who has declared a war on corruption in Bihar, said the central government must act fast to expose the people responsible, if the charges were true.

"The World Bank's revelation is something that affects all of us as fraud in national highway projects would have hit all," he said, reacting to a report that the World Bank has cited bribes paid by private contractors to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) officials in order to obtain contracts.

The World Bank's Institutional Integrity Unit has sought a thorough probe into the matter.

The probe is likely to further highlight concerns about corruption in its development projects and increase pressure on outgoing President Robert Zoellick to tackle shortcomings in the bank's oversight of projects.

Agencies

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