Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing
A Peoples’ response to AIIB Annual Meeting
June 21-23, 2018 | Mumbai, India
The 3rd Annual Governors Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank [AIIB] will be held in Mumbai, India from 25-26 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 AIIBwill 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.
Please do block your dates and plan to join in this important event. Your contribution will be keenly looked forward to. We are not in a position to pay for your travel expenses though we have some solidarity accommodation arranged. We will try and raise some resources for travel by appealing to organisations to subsidise travel of activists from social movement and hinterland. Please plan to reach in morning of June 21st or 20th night and leave by 23rd June evening.
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