The Indian Economy Overview

The World Bank and India

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Enough is Enough

Pierre Galand, Secretary-General of OXFAM, Belgium, resigned on December 1993 from the NGO Working Group on the World Bank. Mr. Galand had served on the Working Group for three years. The following is an extract from his resignation letter:

On the eve of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations and the Institutions of Bretton Woods, I would like to resign from the NGO-World Bank Working Group and its Steering Committee. My action is dictated by intellectual honesty and honesty towards the many friends with whom I work in the "third world".

Having had the opportunity these past three years to observe the behavior of the World Bank, I would like to join those of my colleagues in NGOs who believe that only dissidence can lead to an alternative of justice and co-existence for the peoples of our planet. I was hoping that by working together in the NGO-World Bank Working Group, we would make some progress towards co-development and addressing the condition of the most deprived segments of the world's population.

The remedies provided by the World Bank for development are poisoned remedies that accelerate the process. For many soul and conscience, I am obliged to tell you, 'ENOUGH'. You have stolen the correct discourse of the NGOs towards development, eco-development, poverty and people's participation. At the same time, your policies of structural adjustment and your actions accelerate social dumping in the South by obliging it to enter defenseless into the world market. Thanks to you and your IMF colleagues, multinational firms are relocating, because you create productive conditions with reduced social costs. The result of your joint IMF-WB interventions is constant pressure on the world's economies to be more competitive. This is only obtained through growing pressure on governments to cut spending and reduce social expenditure judged to be too costly.

"On the eve of the 50th Anniversary of Bretton Woods, I would like to resign from the NGO-World Bank Working Group and its Steering Committee. It is clear to me that there is no space to humanize the World Bank."

The World Bank is the biggest international institution involved in development, but it is also the most arrogant. It dictates the conditions for development, and is only accountable to itself. The WB itself is very well informed as to the state of poverty, impoverishment and abandonment of large sectors of the planet's population. Its task is to get everyone, big and small, participating in the great world market.

As long as the World Bank continues with its crazed policies in the field of structural adjustment, we will have to mobilize ourselves and the greatest number of the victims of this type of intervention in order to fight it. After a three and a half year dialogue with the WB, within the NGO working group, I wish to offer my resignation. It is clear to me that there is no space to humanize the Bank.

This was complemented by massive cuts in public sector jobs with declining real wages and growing unemployment.

In January 1991, when the civil war was already rampant, the creditors including the Bank imposed new adjustment policies aimed at reduction of public expenditure, closure of state companies and restructuring of the Central Bank.

Somalia is an illustration of what may happen to a poor country when the country's interests are sacrificed at the altar of market forces.

WB Projects with Potential for NGO in India
Projects Objectives of NGO Involvement
Population V Assist in the national family welfare program in Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar and J&K
Population VI Assist in the national family welfare program in Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar and J&K
Hyderabad Water Supply Assist in resettlement
Nutrition II NGOs will be contracted to carry out staff training and services delivery
Integrated Child opment Services(Orissa/Andhra Pradesh) NGO will be contracted to carry out staff Development Services training and services delivery
Narmada River Basin Development I Assist in resettlement and environmental aspects
AIDS Control Project Assist in carrying out information, education, and communication and working with services delivery
Population & Human Resources Assist in developing and implementing the project
Poverty I Develop credit proposals under integrated rural development program
Rural Water Supply Sanitation II (Karnataka) Establish models for implementing sanitation schemes & training
Subarnarekha (Orissa) Assist project affected people, identify suitable resettlement sites and advise of their rights under the State's resettlement policies

Source : The World Bank

For further details contact:PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) 142, Maitri Apt, Plot No 28, Indraprastha Extn. Delhi 110092. India. Ph: 2432054 Fax: 2224233 email:

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