'Govt nod must for study on sensitive issues by WB, others'
New Delhi: Multilateral lending agencies such as World Bank and ADB will have to get concurrence of the government before publishing research reports on sensitive areas like security.
Also, formal clearance is required for studies where survey, primary data collection or field research in the country is involved.
The Finance Ministry in a circular said multilateral development banks (MDBs) require formal clearance from the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) for studies involving sensitive areas such as inter country rivers, border areas and issues related with internal and external security.
"In all cases, the concerned MDB would be asked to share the draft of the report with DEA. The final report would be published only with the concurrence or comments of the DEA," said the circular on guidelines for processing cases for regional studies by MDBs.
The circular has been issued as there were no standard practice or protocol to deal with studies related to sensitive cases.
MDBs like World Bank, Asian Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, conduct regional studies on various subjects and sectors. These studies cover India and neighbouring countries in the region.
The studies, wherein there is no primary data collection or the agency uses the data which is already in the public domain, would not, however, require specific clearance from DEA if the study does not involve sensitive areas.
As per the guidelines, for regional studies involving neighbouring countries, the DEA will seek comments from the Ministry of External Affairs for the political angle. If the study relates to security, comments of Ministry of Home Affairs will be sought.