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'Shocking': Former World Bank economist Kaushik Basu on manipulation of Doing Business ranking

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The World Bank Group on September 16 said it ended publication of its Doing Business report after an investigation cited "undue pressure" by top bank officials.

Indian economist Kaushik Basu (image:

Economist Kaushik Basu dubbed reports of manipulation of the World Bank's Doing Business ranking as "shocking".

Basu was Chief Economist of the World Bank from October 2012 to October 2016.

He said that when the Doing Business report was under his charge, the organization never gave in to pressure from governments.

He also clarified that the World Bank never faced pressure from the current or previous Indian government, led by Narendra Modi and Manmohan Singh respectively.

"The news of manipulation of World Bank's Doing Business Ranking is shocking. DB was under my charge from 2012 to 2016. There was pressure from govt. We NEVER gave in. Sad that this changed. I may add, to India's credit, I never had pressure from India's govt—current or previous," Basu tweeted.

The World Bank Group on September 16 said it ended publication of its Doing Business report, after an investigation cited "undue pressure" by top bank officials, including then-Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva, to boost China's ranking in 2017.

The report ranks the country based on the investment climate.

An internal report had raised "ethical matters, including the conduct of former Board officials as well as current and/or former Bank staff".

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A board investigation conducted by the law firm WilmerHale cited "direct and indirect pressure" from senior staff in the office of then-World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to change the report's methodology to boost China's score, and said it likely occurred at his direction.