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People Vow to Resist Attempt to Usurp Natural Resources & Livelihood in the Name of Development

Press Release | June 21, 2018

Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing Challenges AIIB’s Reckless Lending: People Vow to Resist Attempt to Usurp Natural Resources & Livelihood in the Name of Development

Mumbai: Political and social activists, academics and financial analysts included, a large number of people gathered at the inaugural of Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing in Mumbai, ahead of the Annual Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), decried investments of AIIB and other international financial institutions (IFIs), causing displacement, dispossession loss of livelihood and propelling inequality and social unrest.
Speaking at the occasion eminent economist Professor Arun Kumar, questioned the development model pushed ahead by IFIs in the pretext of ‘development for all’ as their only aim is profit-oriented growth at any cost.  He raised the pertinent question of ‘development for whom’.
“AIIB has created a superstructure, an ecosystem which acts as a complex web of shining terminologies and projects to attract investments, which actually is a smoke screen to hide the fact that there’s no human development happening” senior activist Medha Patkar said in her speech.
Raising concerns at the crackdown of activists by the government, she lamented, “Show us one state where the people opposing the projects have not been jailed to raise their concerns about the environment, and right to life and livelihood. Recently, people were fired upon in Thutthokodi, Tamil Nadu, when they demanded a pollution free environment to live”.
Financial analyst and journalist Sucheta Dalal said that the Indian banking system is at the verge of crisis, reeling under the mounting bad loans, caused by unfettered corporate loans. Referring to government’s announcement in the Parliament that Rs. 2.4 lakh crore bad loans are written off, she said that “ if farm loan waiver was proposed the world would have gone on a spin, while the loans of big corporations are written off and there isn’t a whimper.”
The inaugural ceremony of the three-day Convention started with the music of resistance by cultural groups. Other speakers included Sreedhar, Environics Trust; Shaktiman Gosh, General Secretary, National Hawkers Federation; Leo Colaco National Fishworkers Forum / World Forum of Fisher-people; Roma, National Secretary, New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI).
Senior activist Ulka Mahajan asked, “Is land a commodity to sell to forcefully silence farmers by giving them some compensation to build infrastructure project?” She added “the land feeds generations of people by providing food,” while reminding that it will be difficult to bring back the fertility of the land. “If raising issues of the marginalised is sedition, then we will continue to do it,” she emphasised.
The Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing is a 3-day confluence of people’s movements, civil society organisations and concerned citizens to deliberate about international financing and strategise a collective voice to hold these financers accountable for their impacts the lending is causing.
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
Co-ordinators:
Maju Varghese | 8826249887
Mecanzy Dabre | 9665006429
Himshi Singh | 9867348307
Media Contacts:
Mukta Srivastava | +91 99695 30060
Shweta Tambe | +91 98693 40816
Anil Tharayath | +91 96500 15257

Around 90 CSOs and Social Movements to Organize Thematic Workshops Parallel to AIIB’s Third AGM in Mumbai

Press Note | June 14, 2018 

Around 90 CSOs and Social Movements to Organize Thematic Workshops Parallel to AIIB’s Third 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.

During the Convention, almost 90 regional, national, and international grassroots and research organisations have come together to organise 20 workshops related to Infrastructure Financing; Development Financial Institutions; Policies and Safeguards; Urban Development; Transport; Port and Coastal Infrastructure; Energy and Energy Finance; Trade and International Financing; Water and Water Sector Reforms; Privatisation and PPPs, Gender; Social Marginalisation among other areas.

“The participants of these workshops would include activists, researchers, projected affected people among others. So far, over 200 people from across the country have registered for these workshops. The Convention will be attended by Prof. Arun Kumar, Medha Patkar, Prof. Anil Sadgopal, Ulka Mahajan among others. The registrations for the workshops are still open for the individuals and media,” said Himshi Singh, one of the coordinators of the Convention.

Speaking about the Peoples Convention on Infrastructure Financing, Maju Varghese, another coordinator of the Convention, said, “the Convention is a resistance to International Finance Institutions, which are pushing massive infrastructures like industrial corridors, smart cities, sagarmala, bullet trains over peoples land and livelihood. The massive physical infrastructure will not improve peoples lives, livelihood, and social infrastructure like schools, hospitals will be left behind.”

Deliberating on this, Ulka Mahajan of Sarvahara Jan Andolan says, “The infrastructure that is being developed is not what people demand, but it is what global capital demands. The international financial institutions are promoting corporate interests over that of people and also pushing the states to the financial debt. On the one hand, the Maharashtra government does not have money to allocate 26,000 crores for the social sector, on the other hand, it has 42,000 crores for the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway, which will reduce the present distance only by 24 km.”

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.

Meera Sanghamitra from the National Alliance of People’s Movements stated that The push for massive infrastructure projects has become a legalised way of grabbing land. Andhra Pradesh has a history of justifying land grabbing and resource appropriation in the name of multilateral donor-funded development aid and the WB-AIIB funded Amaravati Capital City Project joins this bandwagon by further legalizing the loot, leading to livelihood loss for thousands of families and a shared debt on all people of the state. Projects like Sagarmala, industrial corridors that are being pushed and promoted without considering the irreversible impact on the people’s traditional livelihoods and the environment are disasters-in-the-making.

The movements and CSOs will hold the Convention under the aegis of  Working Group on International Financial Institutions (WGonIFIs), which include around 90 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.

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/

Schedule of the workshops: https://wgonifis.net/2018/06/11/schedule-of-the-workshops-at-the-peoples-convention-on-infrastructure-financing/

Registration for the workshops: https://wgonifis.net/aiib-peoples-convention/

AIIB – A Sneak Peek into Challenges: https://wgonifis.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/aiib-a-sneak-peek-into-challanges.pdf

Infrastructure and AIIB, the new Infra Bank: https://wgonifis.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/aiib-infrastructure-booklet_may25.pdf

 

Maju Varghese |8826249887

Mecanzy Dabre | 9665006429

Himshi Singh  | 9867348307

 

Media contacts:

Shweta Tambe: +91 98693 40816

Anil Tharayath: +91 96500 15257

Schedule of the Workshops at the Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing

conference
At the Peoples Convention on Infrastructure Financing, almost 90 regional, national, and international grassroots and research organisations have come together to organise 20 workshops related to Infrastructure Financing; Development Financial Institutions; Policies and Safeguards; Urban Development; Transport; Port and Coastal Infrastructure; Energy and Energy Finance; Trade and International Financing; Water and Water Sector Reforms; Privatisation and PPPs, Gender; Social Marginalisation among other areas.
 So far over 200 people have registered for these workshops. The individual registrations for the workshops are still open. You can find a detailed schedule of the workshop here.

Bullet Train: Propelling Public Debt in India

Krishnakant of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Gujarat on the rationale of the proposed bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

The Role of IFIs in the Development Agenda

Ulka Mahajan on the Context of the Role of IFIs in the Development Agenda

PPPs, Infrastructure, and Economic Development

Shalmali Guttal, Focus on the Global South, discusses the IFIs, PPPs, Infrastructure, and Economic Development.

विकास किसके लिए ?आम जनता के लिए या पूंजीपतियों के लिए

एशियन इंफ्रास्ट्रक्चर इन्वेस्टमेंट बैंक (AIIB), अब दुनिया की सबसे मजबूत और शक्तिशाली वित्तीय संस्था बन गई है । हाल में ही इसी वर्ष AIIB ने भारत में इंफ्रास्ट्रक्चर योजनाओं के लिए 1.5 बिलियन डॉलर निवेश करने के लिए प्रतिबद्ध हुई है । इसका निश्चित तौर भारत की विकास योजनाओं के शेप और उसकी प्रकृति में एक गहरा प्रभाव होगा ।