Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Peoples Forum against ADB India : Our planet is not for sale!
The ADB has earned the notorious title of actually being an “Anti-human Destructive Bank,” whose devastating acts are not limited to India, but are evident across the Asia-Pacific region and also at the global level in collusion with the World Bank, Internanational Monetary Fund (IMF) and other institutions of global capitalism. Likewise, our protest and resistance is not limited to the ADB but extends to all International Financial Institutions (IFIs) whose primary missions are to appropriate and commodify the natural, human and social wealth of the planet, and force nations into indebtedness and political subordination.
A self-acclaimed "development" financial institution, the ADB claims to combat poverty in the region. But its poverty reduction strategy is merely a masquerade for prescribing a doomed model of rapid economic growth powered by the privatisation, commodification and financialisation of natural resources and basic needs like water, power, education, etc. Under the guise of “good governance,” the ADB supports profit-mongering, un-accountable and non-transparent private sectors. The Long-Term Strategy Framework (Strategy 2020) of the Bank is a recipe for the transfer of wealth, means and capacities from the poor and middle classes to the wealthy, upper classes. Using grand slogans such as ‘inclusive growth’, ‘environmental sustainability’ and ‘regional integration’, the Strategy 2020 focuses on private sector development and explicitly advocates private sector participation in ADB and borrower operations. In 2011, the Bank spent nearly $6 billion as private sector finance. Not surprisingly, in India the number of billionaires rose from 2 with a combined worth of $2 billion in the mid-1990s, to 46 in 2012 with a total net worth of $176 billion!
With nearly $22 billion in annual financial investment for nearly 350 projects (loans, grants, equity investments and Technical Assistance) in Asia-Pacific, governments have given the ADB a mandate to direct the development path for the region. Under the pretext of addressing environmental and climate crises and alleviating poverty, the ADB continues to displace and alienate large numbers of people from their lands, homes, water sources and forests, and violates their rights to livelihood, ctizenship and participation in decision making.
Join hands against the ADB AGM
While it is our governments who borrow, the onus of debt repayment falls on the public exchequer and the people of the country, and is transferred to subsequent generations and the environment. Debt repayment depletes scarce foreign exchange reserves, and redirects national revenues away from spending on essential public goods such as education, health, housing, water, sanitation, electricity and job-creation towards servicing an upward spiralling illegitimate debt.
The struggles, movements and campaigns against ADB funded projects in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, and the North Eastern States take this opportunity to expose the ADB’ collusion with the Indian Government to enable the concentration of wealth, resources and capacities in the hands of the economic-political elites. People led by vibrant struggles in these states to halt nuclear power, land and water grabbing, forced evictions, anti-people laws, farmers suicides and environmental destruction send out this appeal to challenge the asymmetrical, ill-designed and anti-people development prescriptions of the ADB.
The 2013 ADB AGM in Delhi offers a much-needed opportunity for us to come together to expose the destructive developmental model promoted by the ADB and our governments. We invite all of you to join us in voicing our opposition to institutions like the ADB, which mutilate our democratic institutions, perpetrate untold violence on our societies and foster continuing marginalization and pauperization of our peoples.
ADB QUIT INDIA! QUIT ASIA!