British anti-poverty company criticised for high salary, India focus

April 30th, 2009 - 6:30 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 30 (IANS) MPs have attacked the million-pound-a-year salary taken by the head of a British government company that fights poverty in India and other developing countries.
The salary of CDC Group chief executive Richard Laing rose from 383,000 pounds in 2003 to 970,000 pounds in 2007, the British parliament’s Public Accounts Committee found.

Committee members said the company, which describes itself as a “fund of funds”, failed to consult Britain’s ministry for International Development, its 100 percent shareholder.

Calling Laing’s salary “extraordinary”, the committee also questioned CDC’s decision to increase investments in China and India, which were already attracting foreign investors.

CDC invests in developing world businesses to promote economic growth.

Committee Chairman Edward Leigh said CDC Group had proved it was very good at turning a profit, but added: “We need to know, however, how effective it is at reducing poverty and so far there is limited evidence.”

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