New York Times

September 16 1971


World Bank Says Refugee Cost May Stunt Indian Development

By Sydney H. Schanberg

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NEW DELHI, Sept. 15—A World Bank report has concluded that India's economic development could be seriously stunted by the cost of supporting the millions of Bengali refugees who have fled into India from East Pakistan.

According to authoritative sources, the report—which was prepared by the World Bank unit in India and has been sent to the agency's headquarters in Washington—suggests that most of the refugees will remain permanently in India and that a substantial increase in foreign aid will be needed to create jobs and rehabilitate them here.

Indian Government figures, which the World Bank accepts, show that about 8.5 million refugees have poured into India in the nearly six months since the Pakistani Government began its military effort to crush the Bengali separatist movement in East Pakistan.

A Million a Month

The influx is reported continuing at 30,000 to 40,000 daily, which is roughly one million new refugees a month.

Officials of the World Bank here declined to comment on the report. The World Bank, formally known as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, has been sensitive about its reports on the East Pakistani crisis since an earlier report,’ describing conditions in East Pakistan, was leaked to the press and drew angry protests from Pakistani Government officials.


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