Home » Posts tagged '3rd Annual Governors Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank'

Tag Archives: 3rd Annual Governors Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

People’s Movements to Challenge AIIB’s Infrastructure Financing: Over 80 CSOs and Social Movements to Organize Events Parallel to AIIB’s AGM in Mumbai

Press Note | May 16, 2018 

People’s Movements to Challenge AIIB’s Infrastructure Financing: Over 80 CSOs and Social Movements to Organize Events Parallel to AIIB’s AGM in Mumbai

Raising the serious issues of social and environmental costs in infrastructure projects, its economic burden on public and financial non-viability, Civil Society Organisations and social movements are set to  organize a three day convention on Infrastructure Financing from June 21 – 23rd in Mumbai parallel to the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank’s third Annual Governors Meeting slated for June 25-26 in the same city.

The movements and CSOs will hold the Convention under the aegis of  Working Group on International Financial Institutions (WGonIFIs), which include over 80 people’s movements and other CSOs, including National Alliance of People’s Movements, National Hawkers Federation,National Fishworkers Forum, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Ghar Bachao Ghar Bano Andolan, Soshit Jan Andolan, Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Bhumi Adhikar Andolan; Environment Support Group; North East Peoples Alliance, and others.

During the Convention, various discussions will be held on urban development, transportation, coastal protection and coastal communities, sustainable energy and equity, privatization, monitoring financial institutions and their policies and projects in the country. The registrations for the workshops have started.

The Peoples Convention intends to demand accountability from the development financial institutions, particularly AIIB which lacks robust policies on environmental-social safeguards, transparent public disclosure and a complaint handling mechanism. While the detailed information about the programme will be shared later, you can know more about the AIIB’s projects and Peoples Convention here.

Background:

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the two-year-old multilateral bank, is investing in all major sectors, including energy, without robust policies on environmental-social safeguards, transparent public disclosure and an accountability/complaint handling mechanism. Out of the total 24 projects, it has financed, USD 4.4 billion has already been approved. India is the biggest recipient from AIIB with more than 1.2 billion USD supporting about six projects including Transmission lines, Capital City Development at Amravati, rural roads etc. with another 1 billion USD in proposed projects.

About Us: 

WGonIFIs, a network of movements, organisations and individuals to critically look at and evaluate the policies, programmes and investments of various International Finance Institutions (IFIs), and joining the celebration of the people and communities across the world in resisting them. A list of the network is available here.

Last year, when the Asian Development Bank completed 50 years, the WGonIFIs observed it by holding actions of protests in over 140 locations spread in over 21 states in India against the investment policies of ADB and other International Financial Institutions.

For further details, please contact: 

Working Group on IFIs | wgonifis@gmail.com

Website: https://wgonifis.net

Concept Note: https://wgonifis.net/2018/04/29/peoples-convention-on-infrastructure-financing-concept-note/

Registration: https://wgonifis.net/aiib-peoples-convention/

Maju Varghese | 8826249887 

Mecanzy Dabre | 9665006429 

Himshi Singh  | 9867348307

 

Peoples Convention on Infrastructure Financing: Concept Note

Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing

A response to AIIB Annual Meeting

June 21-23, Mumbai, India

Introduction:

Peoples Convention on Infrastructure Financing – A response to AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) Annual Meeting is the coming together of various groups working towards just and equitable society threatened by the massive infrastructure push resulting in displacement and dispossession of the marginalized and destruction of natural resources, on which their livelihoods depend.  There seems to be a consensus among the International Finance Institutions that infrastructure constitutes a primary element for pushing growth.  The IFIs have been perpetuating the assumption of a huge infrastructural gap in emerging countries. Such gaps could only be filled by diluting regulatory mechanisms that govern labour markets, environmental safeguards and land acquisition laws. The IFIs perceive such dilutions to improve investment climes and help improve ‘ease of doing business’ rankings.

Besides institutional and regulatory issues, lack of finance is often viewed as a major reason for the slow pace of infrastructure development in most of the developing and Less Developed Countries.

According to McKinsey, the world needs to invest the US $3.3 trillion annually (or about 4% of present annual global GDP of US $84 trillion) in economic infrastructure until 2030.  Asian Development Bank has also estimated an infrastructure gap of about $ 26 trillion over the 15-years from 2016 to 2030, or $1.7 trillion per year. It is estimated that India would require an annual infrastructure investment of US $230 billion (INR 14,95,000 crore) every year till 2020.  This is about 9% of India’s present GDP, and over 50% of the total annual budget expenditure proposed (of about INR 29,20,484 crores) in the Feb.2018 budget! Note that while the global infra investment needs are projected at about 4% of global GDP, for India, this is a huge 9% of its GDP. Over the last five years, India has been spending about 5% of its GDP on infrastructure. These huge estimates are served to propagate the need for Development Finance particularly the private finance for which nations will have to create the investment climate through deregulation and ease of doing business.

These estimates form the basis of the pitch by International Finance Institutions.  The new Development Finance Institutions like AIIB point out these infrastructure gaps to drive the point of needing more financing and financial institutions. AIIB claims its rationale in terms of focus sectors, modalities of financing for boosting economic activities in the southern countries.  While the traditional multilateral development banks were led by US, Japan, and northern countries, the emergence of AIIB with its headquarters in Beijing is seen as symbolic of the emergence of China as a major economic player in the world in the 21stcentury.

The new institution, AIIB, as opposed to traditional development finance agencies does not have well framed policies for lending particularly on the environment and social safeguards fronts.  Many of these safeguards got ingrained in the earlier agencies based on struggles from the ground including that of dam-affected, displacement affected communities.  With the emergence of AIIB, we are also witnessing a race to the bottom when the seemingly progressive policies which are based on universal frameworks are being overturned for country-based systems which absolve financial institutions from the responsibility of the destruction they are funding.  AIIB, for instance, started their lending without developing their key policies in place and adopting the policies of the financial institutions they co-finance with (either World Bank or Asian Development Bank).

AIIB 3rdAnnual Governors Meeting, June 25-26 Mumbai

AIIB has grown since its launch and currently have about 86 approved members from around the world and will hold its 3rdAnnual Governors Meet in Mumbai India, the financial capital of the second largest shareholder in AIIB.  The Annual Governors Meeting is expected to discuss policies apart from regular business. The theme of this year is “Mobilising Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration” and sets out to discuss the private sector’s role in infrastructure.

As a host country, India is organising eight lead up events in various parts of the country on various themes leading up to the Annual Governors Meeting. These host country seminars push for reorienting the economy in favor of the private sector, arguing for revisiting of the regulatory ecosystem which according to them dis-incentivises the private sector.  The positions which AIIB hold on private sector bring them close to the traditional multilateral development agencies rather than challenging their roles.  The renewed push for private sector investment is coming at a time when India is witnessing a huge fall in private sector participation in infrastructure from $55 billion in 2010 to $5 billion in 2015 as nonperforming infrastructure assets of the previous public-private partnership (PPP) investments increased.

Peoples Convention on Infrastructure Financing

Peoples Convention on Infrastructure Financing will bring together groups and affected communities from across the country to discuss their vision of development and how they get affected by the infrastructure push by the dominant financial institutions.  The convention will share stories of resistance and alternate visions on development along with demanding constitutional guarantees regarding meaningful and informed consultations and rights of communities in planning and development.  The financial institutions, whether led by northern countries or southern countries could not absolve themselves from the impacts their projects inflict upon the people and environment.

AIIB currently goes by the policies of the co-funders like World Bank and Asian Development Bank in the absence of a policy of its own. Farmers affected by the land pooling scheme of  Amaravati Sustainable Capital City Development project has raised questions on AIIB and World Bank co-funded project and had to take up their grievances with the compliant mechanism of the World Bank, the co-financier of the project, in the absence of compliance mechanisms and policies of that of AIIB.

AIIB  has a co-financing model which serves AIIB well, particularly if other institutions, such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, do not charge the AIIB all the costs they incur for due diligence and oversight. With low-cost co-financing fees, the AIIB can make significant profits since its own loan charges can easily cover its low administrative expenses. The other institutions, with their full suite of safeguard policies, also protect the AIIB from reputational risks associated with infrastructure projects.    Two of the projects, one being the Transmission System Strengthening Project, which it is co-financing with ADB and one proposed project Amaravati CCP being co-financed with World Bank and Andhra Pradesh 24×7 – Power For All project being co-financed with World Bank; leaves AIIB absolved of any obligations. The policies, due diligence applicable are the responsibility of the lead financier and there is no clarity on the role and liability of AIIB

Concerns have also been raised regarding AIIB’s proposed investment in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) as a financial intermediary which will further reduce the transparency of how this money will be spent in high-risk investments without taking proper accountability.  Various Indian groups have also joined their counterparts from across the world in raising questions on the energy policy as well as their concerns about shifting decision making power in approving projects from the Executive Board who are accountable to constituent Governments to that of the Bank Management.

The people’s convention on Infrastructure Financing organised by the ‘Working Group on IFIs’, an informal network of groups will discuss in length the policies of AIIB.  Various self-organised events will be held from June 21  – 23rdin Mumbai will bring groups working on urban development, transportation, coastal protection and coastal communities, sustainable energy, and equity, against privatisation along with groups monitoring financial institutions and their policies and projects in the country. The Peoples convention also aims to bring together political actors, social movements, activists and local communities, both from urban slum communities and rural pockets to plan future action.

It also seeks to deliver a firm message to development financial institutions, particularly to the AIIB on our resolution to watch their investments and demand accountability in their investments in the country and strengthen the forces fighting for a just and equitable development.  AIIB being a south-led multilateral development bank should have its ears and eyes close to the ground feeling the pain of displacement and dispossession rather than funding projects that go against their own said mandate of clean, lean and green.

The people’s movements will keep a close eye on AIIB’s priorities, policies and investments in the country and how they respond to peoples’ voices.

Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing: A Peoples’ response to AIIB Annual Meeting June 21-23, 2018

INVITATION

The Third Annual Governors Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank [AIIB] will be held in Mumbai, India from 24-25 June 2018. This two-year-old multilateral bank is investing in all major sectors, including energy, without robust policies on environmental-social safeguards, transparent public disclosure and an accountability/complaint handling mechanism. Out of the total 24 projects, it has financed, USD 4.4 billion has already been approved.  India is the biggest recipient from AIIB with more than 1.2 billion USD supporting about six projects including Transmission lines, Capital City Development at Amravati, rural roads etc with another 1 billion USD in proposed projects.

These data are but a few from among the many that come out periodically which, we are aware, will straightaway affect our democratic systems, land, water, forests, food, livelihoods, structures and the very air we breathe on a daily basis. All these raise our concerns to an alarming level that we are forced to reflect and act on the rapid ‘reforms’ which happen in the guise of development. Unlike World Bank and ADB who claim their development agenda in the name of reduction in poverty and inequality, AIIB never conceals their huge interests in infrastructure financing.

India is AIIB’s second-largest shareholder and is an adored destination for its investments. As many of us are aware, the Indian government, for past few decades, has stressed the need for large infrastructural projects for the country’s development and these projects are being seen as a stimulus to the growth of India’s GDP. These include power projects, dams, roads, urban projects, industrial zones/corridors, ports, smart cities and other mega projects, including the new super-expensive high-speed rail projects. Mega energy projects are perceived as one of the major components and enablers of these infrastructure projects.  This aggressive growth for the economic elite and the upper classes will come at the cost of displacing the lives of people who are dependent on land and natural resources for their livelihood and devastating the environment. This also often comes at the cost of displacing farming and pastoralist communities who are pushed to a life of poverty and whose life and livelihood cannot be commensurably compensated by money – in most cases, not even that. The huge projected increases in the energy infrastructure will also demand similarly massive financial investments.

It is critical that we situate the 3rd AIIB AGM within this global, regional and national context. The idea behind the People’s Convention on Infrastructure Financing is to provide a space for social movements, progressive trade unions, academia and civil society from various parts of the country working on urban development, transportation, environmental protection, coastal communities, sustainable energy and equity, against privatisation along with groups monitoring financial institutions and their policies and projects in the country.  The Convention will facilitate solidarity in the resistance against the infrastructural approach towards development causing displacement and destruction to the natural resources. It will also be a space to put forward and discuss alternatives for a just and equitable world that are emerging out of people’s struggles.

Peoples Convention on Infrastructure Financing – A peoples response to AIIB will be held in Mumbai, India from 21-23 June 2018. It will also organize a series of regional meetings in different parts of the country in the month of April and May to bring together civil society organizations for familiarising and updating on AIIB functions, investment policies, and initiating monitoring on AIIB projects in India, with a focused aim to strategize, campaign and demand transparency and accountability in their lending in India. It is an opportune moment to try and tackle the bank, and demand accountability in their financing in Indian projects, when this year India is hosting AIIB’s 3rd Annual Governors Meet [AGM]. Groups from Mumbai, along with other Indian organisations will jointly host the event which will include plenary, self-organised workshops, passing of resolutions, cultural events and press conference.

VENUE: Plenary at Y.B Chavan Hall and workshops at YWCA and YMCA.

We look forward to being with you in Mumbai on June 21-23, 2018!

With warm regards,

Peoples Convention on Infrastructure Financing – A peoples response to AIIB

For further details, please contact:

Working Group on IFIs | wgonifis@gmail.com

Maju Varghese | 8826249887

Mecanzy Dabre | 9665006429

Himshi Singh  | 9867348307

Gujarat groups protest the exclusion of urban poor and civil society groups from AIIB lead up the ​seminar on urban development in Ahmedabad

PRESS RELEASE

April 18, 2018

  • Gujarat groups protest the exclusion of urban poor and civil society groups from AIIB lead up the seminar on urban development in Ahmedabad.
  • Social Movements to hold a parallel conference in Mumbai along with Asian Infrastructure Bank 3rdAnnual Governors Meeting.
  • Demands reorienting of visions from existing Multilateral development Banks towards a people-centric development orientation.

Gujarat groups protest the exclusion of civil society groups in the state and country for the lead-up event for AIIB 3rd AGM on urban development in Ahmedabad. The exclusion of urban poor groups and civil society shows a trend of opacity, non-transparency and indifference to the concerns of various sections of society which inhabit a city.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) the newest of the Multilateral Development Banks Headquartered in Beijing will hold its second Annual Governors Meeting in Mumbai on 25th and 26th of June in Mumbai. India is hosting a number of host country seminars across the country of which the seminar on urban development is being organised in Ahmedabad on 19th and 20th of April. The organisers of the conference have not extended invitations to civil society organisations / social movements who are actively working for equitable, inclusive and sustainable cities.

The issue of urban development is not about creating investment opportunities for corporates but about securing the rights and livelihoods of people who are living in those cities whose voices are not being considered in the planning of cities development. A large number of questions are being raised by various groups across the country regarding massive investments which at one hand will create huge public debt and on the other hand, does not ease living for the masses living in those cities and to the contrary, displace, disposes and derecognise their genuine voices.

A large number of questions have been raised with regards to AIIB as to their perspective on urban development and to the rights of the people who inhabit them. The support to Amravati state capital by AIIB without considering the effects of such massive development project on the environment and livelihoods of the people and without addressing their problems is a case in the point. AIIB could not put together a comprehensive complaints mechanism of its own and policies that will guide their investments and have started funding projects.

About 61 groups across the world including a large number from India have in a statement expressed their concerns about shifting the decision making power to approve projects to that of the Bank Management instead of the Executive Board who are accountable to constituent Governments. Concerns have also been raised regarding AIIB’s proposed investment into National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, which will further reduce the transparency of how this money will be spent in high risk investments without taking proper accountability. We also urge AIIB to halt all investments until all environmental, social and transparency policies are approved through a thorough process of consultation including CSO’s and affected communities.

AIIB being a south led multi lateral development bank should have its ears and eyes close to the ground feeling the pain of displacement and dispossession rather than funding projects that goes against their own said mandate of clean, lean and green. The peoples movements will keep a close eye on AIIBs priorities, policies and investments in the country and how they respond to peoples voices.

Groups across the country will also assemble in Mumbai from 21-23rd, demanding accountability and to reiterate their vision of an equitable society differing from the versions of international financial institutions which opens the planet and people for further destruction.

Finance driven unequitable and unsustainable projects have posed in many problems to the Society and the Government, State of Gujarat is no exception to this. The struggles and resistance movements in various parts of Gujarat are living examples of Non-democratic and consultant driven Urban Development, which has only led to ad-hocism and replaced proper planning processes.

  • Mandal-Becharaji SIR./ Dholera SIR.
  • Vadodara – Mumbai Expressway.
  • Challenge to Urban plans in cities like Surat, Navsari, Bardoli, Morbi.
  • Mumbai – Ahmedabad Bullet Train.
  • Ahmedabad Metro.
  • Ultra Mega Power Plant in Mundra (Tata & Adani).

The Government response to attract the International Finance has been one of undermining all the democratic process, twisting the policies and laws to suit the Financers (Ease of Doing Business) and Amendments to several important laws with far reaching negative consequences on the Public.

  • Gujarat Amendment to the RFCTLARR, 2013.
  • SIR Act 2009.
  • Amendments through Rules in PESA Act.
  • District and Metropolitan Planning Committees, under the 74th Constitutional Amendment (Article 243 ZD and 243 ZE)
  • Amendments to the Panchayat Act 1993.
  • Amendments to Tenancy Act and ULC Act.

Under such circumstances, lack of clear policies regard to Water and Land Use have only led to aggravating the Woes of Public and increasing incidences of sporadic and organised resistances to various projects both Government and Private.

Undermining the Constitutional Provisions and Principles for the sake of attracting finance and corporates to promote the kind ‘Development’ which more than for Public Utility is pushed for Private profits, the Government has increasingly depended on the model of PPP. Which according to us is – ‘Projects for Private Profits’. The major portion of PPPs is financed through Debt and the Banking NPA crisis red flags the perils of depending more on such models.

What is required is people driven planning. Which will be equitable, sustainable and least resisted since the participation of public would be ensured at every stage from planning to implementation.

Krishnakant, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti

Sagar Rabari, Khedut Samaj Gujarat

Ashok Shrimali, Mines, Minerals and People

Zuber Sheikh, SAATH