World Bank identifies Orissa’s ‘corrupt’ minister


Bhubaneswar : The World Bank has informed that Orissa’s former health minister Bijoyshree Routray was the official involved in taking a bribe for showing undue favours to a firm, it was revealed here Thursday.

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The bank, in a report uncovering the corruption scandal, had said a state minister had taken a bribe of Rs.500,000 in return for favours to a particular firm. But the bank had not revealed the name so far.

The minister was named after the Orissa government put pressure on the World Bank.

“The bank has named Bijoyshree Routray who had allegedly taken the bribe when he was state health minister,” Orissa Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy told reporters here.

A World Bank team met the chief secretary in the secretariat Thursday.Routray was not available for comment.

A detailed implementation review (DIR) report of the World Bank into the $76.4 million Orissa Health System Development Project (OHSDP), launched in 1998 and completed in 2006, said that a health minister and some officials had taken Rs.500,000 in bribes to give undue favours to a particular firm.

The state government had earlier formed a three-member panel headed by Tripathy to probe the corruption charges after the DIR report was published.

The report gives details with documentary evidence about substandard construction works and fraud in procurement of instruments and fittings for hospitals covered under the project.