In October the Bank’s board approved a $45 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), for the controversial Allain Duhangan hydropower project in the Indian Himalayas. Local people and Indian NGOs had called for the project to be delayed until numerous grievances were resolved. There are fears that the dam will divert essential water resources from drinking and farming. Villagers filed a formal complaint with the IFC’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) in September. Two days prior to loan approval, the CAO decided that the villagers’ complaint warranted an independent assessment of the project. Opponents fear that now the loan is approved, the CAO’s recommendations will be ignored by project officials.
The IMF and the World Bank are increasingly engaged with the challenge of addressing how tax avoidance and evasion affect developing countries, but need to address the role played by multinational enterprises and tax havens in exacerbating inequality and undermining countries’ domestic revenues.
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