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IFI governance

News

Indian groups debate World Bank state level adjustment

15 December 1998

Andra Pradesh, India, has been the testing ground for a precedent-setting £3 billion state-level World Bank structural adjustment programme. The level of the Bank’s influence on state economics and politics is evidenced by the State Government sharing its budget with the Bank before it was presented to the state legislature, and by the Finance Minister mentioning the World Bank 13 times in his 1997 budget speech. In India’s federal structure it is state governments which play the lead role in social development.

Neither the Bank nor the Andra Pradesh government wanted to publicly release the document which set out the economic restructuring programme. But when the Centre for Environment Concerns obtained and circulated it, Bank and government officials agreed to participate in a public forum. This comprised feminists, civil rights leaders, academics, DFID officials and many others.

Aspects of the reform package have since been analysed in detail by well-known academics and activists. Papers produced cover: education, health, power sector, infrastructure and general economic strategy.

Contact: K.S. Gopal, Centre for Environment Concerns, 3-4-142/6 Barkatpura, Hyderabad 500 027, Andra Pradesh, India,

Tel: +91 40 664 959,

Fax: +91 40 756 4959,

cenvicon@hd2.vsnl.net.in.