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Need for people's movement against ADB: RSP

By Staff
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Hyderabad, May 4 (UNI) Claiming that successive governments at the Centre and in the States were pushing the country into a deeper debt trap by taking loans from International Financial Institutions, Republican Socialist Party (RSP) MP Abani Ray today called for a massive people's movement to achieve ''real Independence''.

Participating in the plenary session organised by the People's Forum against ADB, he alleged that the Industrialised nations, including the US, were trying to further their imperialist interests by taking a firm grip over the developing and under-developed countries.

The session had been organised in protest against the 39th Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank Board of Governors here.

Vehemently opposing the conditionalities of the ADB and other international financial institutions to member-countries to cut down subsidies in public health, education and food, the veteran parliamentarian regretted that these institutions were not accountable to either Parliament or Legislatures in the country.

These banks were lending on commercial terms and promoting corporatisation of public assets and services, he said.

''What is the use of this so called development, when the poor are denied access to fruits of development,'' alleged Mr Roy.

Dismissing the ADB's goal of poverty reduction in member countries as ''cent per cent lie'', Bruce Rich, Senior Attorney, Environmental Defence, US said the ADB's decisions were influenced by econmic and corporate interests of industrialised countries, which held 58 per cent of shares in the Bank.

Some of the US Sentors like Richard Lagar, Chairman, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee were keen on collaborating with like-minded Parliamentarians and Legislators to hold joint probes into alleged corruption in ADB-funded projects.

Noted social activist and MLA from Madhya Pradesh Sunilam called for a Constitutional Amendment Bill to make it mandatory holding of a public debate before any development project was taken up with assistance from external agencies.

The Rs 1125 crore ADB-funded drinking water project implemented in six towns of Madhya Pradesh had commercialised the water delivery system and thus deprived the poor of water.

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