The World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for India provides the principles and blueprint for the institutions role in India. It identifies the operations that the Bank intends to offinance for the period 2005-08 and the rationale for these operations. CAS explicitly reflects a significant scaling up of the bank’s activities as well as critical new thrusts.
Members of social movements, national alliances and civil society organizations including groups involved in development, environment, energy, water, human rights, food security, and rural and indigenous community issues have carefully analyzed and deliberated on this document made available on the Bank’s website on September 22, 2004; and concluded that the CAS promotes policies inappropriate to the social and economic realities of the country and will have significant adverse impacts on development and democracy in India.
For the reasons elaborated in this critique, we explicitly reject this document and call upon the Government of India, which has been elected on a progressive mandate, as well as the Parliament and state Assemblies, to do likewise. We also call upon the media and other people’s initiatives to debate and expose the thrust and content of the bank’s Strategy.
The response to the Strategy was generated through a consultation of 22 civil society organisations in Delhi on August 8, 2004 and subsequent inputs from many other organisations and individuals.
Smitu Kothari and Benny Kuruvilla
On behalf of twenty-two civil society organisations
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