An early June statement from 26 social movements and NGOs in India has called the World Bank’s plans for civil society consultation on the Bank’s country assistance strategy (CAS) for India a “farce”. The groups accuse the Bank of selectively inviting groups, “deliberately avoiding the ones who are critical of its policies or are working on the social and environmental impacts of the projects funded by the World Bank.” They called for the new CAS to “be finalised only after a detailed review process and a much required assessment by the Indian Parliament of the 2009-2012 CAS and of the broader need for World Bank finance and advice for the future development of the country.” In late June, the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People wrote an open letter to the Bank’s India country director Roberto Zagha, rejecting an invitation for CAS consultations and saying the Bank “had not learned any lessons from its disastrous funding for the Narmada projects” (see Update 71, 39, 20) and was still going ahead with “sham consultations” for “destructive projects”.
In prioritising capital market expansion, the needs of the lowest income groups are not being effectively addressed through World Bank interventions.
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