Skip to main content

BRICS bank fails to define sustainable infrastructure, yet "promoting" it to help corporates, MNCs: NGO meet

By Our Representative
A civil society convention in New Delhi has taken strong exception to the National Development Bank (NDB), which is the joint initiative of the five BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa -- for failing to define “sustainable infrastructure” even as seeking to promote it, wondering whose interests it is serving.
Held ahead of the NDB’s Second Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the New Development Bank, which began on March 31 and will end on April 2, 2017, the meet, titled, “NDB: Peoples Perspectives”, was addressed by academicians, economists, environmentalists, journalists and indigenous communities from BRICS countries.
Focusing on issues related to the lack to transparency, accountability, benchmarks about the environmental and social, grievance redressal mechanisms, and spaces of engagement for the civil society organizations and peoples’ movements in NDB, the convention decided that it would come up with a detailed response to the outcomes of NDB meet.
Speaking on the occasion, Ciao Borges, a lawyer representing Conectas, a not-for-profit organization with the consultative status from UN-ECOSOC from Brazil, said, “the NDB given its wide implications ought to have an accountability and transparency structure.” The convention was held on March 30.
He said, so far the Shanghai based Bank, which claims to focus on ‘sustainable infrastructure’, has approved seven investment projects in all member countries for a total of over USD 1.5 billion, with 75% investments on renewable energy.
Despite this, he said, the Bank has not felt the need to define the concept of sustainable infrastructure. “This leaves the door open for investments which are profit oriented and not completely sustainable in nature”, he opined.
“Moreover”, he added, “With lack of transparency and redressal mechanism, the affected communities would have no recourse to file their complaints and concerns.”
Soumya Dutta, convener, Climate & Energy Group of Beyond Copenhagen Collective, and one of the founders of India Climate Justice Platform, said that none of the investment made was related to health, education etc., and all has gone to construction of roads, solar and hydropower plants.
“This leaves one wondering if all money has gone to the needs of the industry where corporates can come into play”, he said, even as taking strong exception to the concept of climate proofing of infrastructure, which, according to him, “protects investments from climate change but not people who are at the receiving ends.”
“All this achieves considerable significance in the wake of recent statement of Bank’s president KV Kamath, who announced that the Bank would double its lending every year over the next 2-3 years to leverage its USD 10 billion capital in first 6-7 years”, Dutta added.
Madhuresh Kumar, convener of the National Alliance of Peoples Movement (NAPM), who has worked on displacement issues in the Narmada Valley, said, “We are not against renewable energy but it has to be decentralized. The current funding is for the large scale projects, which leads to the large scale displacements. For any project to be sustainable and inclusive the benefits have to be equally distributed.”
Susana Barria, Project Coordinator, Public Service International, gave the example of the promotion of the rooftop solar panels as a strategy to reduce displacement, pointing out, since NDB will “only facilitate the norms of the dominant global financial systems, we cannot expect much from them to work in peoples favour.”
Others who addressed the convention included Nagesh Prabhu, Prof Biswajit Dhar, Leo Saldhana, Atul Bhardwaj, Ram Wangkheirakpam, Himanshu Damle, Benny Kuruvilla, and Joe Athialy.

Comments

TRENDING

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

AMR: A gathering storm that threatens a century of progress in medicine

By Bobby Ramakant*  A strategic roundtable on “Charting a new path forward for global action against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)” was organised at the 77th World Health Assembly or WHA (WHA is the apex decision-making body of the World Health Organization – WHO, which is attended by all countries that are part of the WHO – a United Nations health agency). AMR is among the top-10 global health threats “Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a growing and urgent crisis which is already a leading cause of untimely deaths globally. More than 2 people die of AMR every single minute,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO. “AMR threatens to unwind centuries of progress in human health, animal health, and other sectors.”

What stops Kavach? Why no time to focus on common trains meant for common people?

By Atanu Roy  A goods train rammed into Kanchenjunga Express on 17th June morning in North Bengal. This could have been averted if the time tested anti-collision system (Kavach) was in place. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Top Punjab Maoist who failed to analyse caste question, promoted economism

By Harsh Thakor*  On June 15th we commemorated the 15th death anniversary of Harbhajan Singh Sohi or HBS, a well known Communist leader in Punjab. He expired of a heart attack in Bathinda in 2009.

Saving farmers and consumers from GM crops and food: Philippines court shows the way

By Bharat Dogra*  At a time when there is increasing concern that powerful GM crop lobbyists backed by enormous resources of giant multinational companies may be able to bulldoze food safety and environmental concerns while pushing GM crops, a new hope has appeared in the form of a court decision from the Philippines.