In a speech made after reviewing the progress of World Bank-aided project on July 3 the Minister had made the offensive remark.

World Bank refuses to let go of Kerala Ministers racist comment writes to FM
news Politics Sunday, July 09, 2017 - 16:09

Kerala Public Works Department Minister G Sudhakaran has claimed that he did not know it was offensive to use the 'N-word'.

But despite Sudhakaran offering an apology for his racist comment, referring to a Work Bank’s senior infrastructure specialist as  “a negro”, top officials of the World Bank have refused to let the issue go. 

Top officials of World Bank have written to the Finance Minister and Minister of Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley, saying that they have taken note of the Kerala Minister's comment and is taking it seriously.

In this letter, the World Bank officials have said they might want to reconsider granting a loan to the Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) project, as well as other projects for which Kerala is all set to apply for a loan. The officials also mentioned in the letter that the Kerala minister had said that Kerala does not want financial help from World Bank. 

After the furore over his racist slur, Sudhakaran wrote to the World Bank officer offering “deep regret” and clarified, "I never knew the American practice of avoiding such a word," Sudhakaran said in his letter to World Bank senior infrastructure specialist Bernard Aritua. "The word (negro) is used in Kerala legislature by some legislators without any animosity or contempt,” according to The New Indian Express

In a speech made after reviewing the progress of World Bank-aided Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) in Kasaragod district on July 3, the Minister had made the offensive remark. Saying that the leader of the World Bank team is an African-American, he referred to him using the racist slur “negro”. 

World Bank has been funding KSTP to improve traffic flow and road safety with a focus on vulnerable road users on selected roads in Kerala since 2002. Different teams from the organisation have conducted many inspections in Kerala over the years.

There were also allegations against the World-Bank funded project over poor supervision and unscientific preparation of DPR.

In November 2016, there were reports that World Bank would stop funding the project as the KSTP Phase II of 363 km of State Highway development has missed milestones and completion target. The phase II project which would cost $445 million, was marked badly by World Bank in its report card 38 months after its commencement.  

 

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