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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 30, 2001 – Radio Australia)---The political opposition in Papua New Guinea is calling for an inquiry into the operations of the World Bank in PNG.

The World Bank provides much-needed financial assistance, on the condition that the government pursues an economic reform agenda that includes privatization of state-owned enterprises.

Opposition MP Andrew Baing told Parliament today that there is a widely held view that the privatization program is not appropriate for PNG, and will cause reduced services in rural areas.

Mr. Baing said the government should hold a Commission of Inquiry into the way the World Bank operates in Papua New Guinea and the extent to which it influences government policy.

"The World Bank came with this policy that is quite going to have an adverse effect on the lives of our people," he said.

"I think the operation of the World Bank here in Papua New Guinea should be investigated. Which means if this Government has the nerve, it can appoint a Commission of Inquiry to look into the operations of the World Bank, where it comes and tries to impose unnecessary conditions on us.

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