The World Bank is planning an independent review of its power sector reforms in India. These have been criticised by NGOs, notably PRAYAS Research Group from Pune.
The review is to be coordinated by the India Country Director and carried out by consultants. They will evaluate the approach to privatization, the role of competition, and the structure of regulation; aiming to improve future projects in India. Girish Sant, from PRAYAS, who attended a planning meeting for this review, expressed concern that the review is only looking at privatisation, not at other options:
“The terms of reference clearly ask consultants to see how best to achieve privatization and competition.
The review is aimed at fine tuning rather than reconsidering the model, thus PRAYAS is concerned that the Bank is not prepared to allow the process of reforms to be really participatory, to include options of restructuring within the state sector.”
The UK‘s Department for International Development has been very supportive of the Bank’s power sector reforms, providing £100 million in investment and grants for studies. It is likely that they will fund the review.