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Bardhan against international representatives on panels

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, SEPT. 17. The Communist Party of India today reiterated that the Planning Commission should "honourably dispense" with the presence of representatives of international agencies on the panel.

"One can certainly informally consult and interact with as many experts as one wishes, foreign institutions included, but why institutionalise the process by including representatives from such foreign institutions in regularly constituted panels. I would be happy if you can honourably dispense with their presence on the panels," the CPI general secretary, A.B. Bardhan, said in a letter to the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, M.S. Ahluwalia.

He was responding to Dr. Ahluwalia's communication to the Left leaders following the move to include the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other foreign consultancy firms.

Mr. Bardhan said the country had "enormous expertise" among those who are outside the Government. "We can certainly benefit from their unbiased and objective views, much more than from their subjective viewpoint of foreign institutions. We can do this without soliciting views from the World Bank, ADB and other foreign consultancy firms, whom, as you admit, `have their own agenda.' I can understand that `their views will be subjected to careful professional scrutiny' as you assure us. But why solicit them in the first place?"

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