Financing Education Prabhat Patnaik

The Draft National Education Policy unveiled by the central government puts forward a bizarre line of reasoning. Education, it is argued on the basis of a long-held and honourable belief going back to the Kothari Commission, should have an annual expenditure of around 6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product; we have come nowhere near this figure even after so many years and cannot do so on the basis of government effort owing to our stretched budgetary resources; hence, to realize this target, which most right-thinking persons in the country would accept, we must draw the private sector into the…

Corruption in the age of Liberalisation C.P. Chandrasekhar

In a season for scandals, allegations of large scale corruption have captured political India’s attention. The instances to which such allegations relate are many, varying from the sale of 2G spectrum and the mobilisation and/or disposal of land and mining resources, to purchases made as part of large and concentrated public expenditures (as in the case of the Commonwealth Games). Features that these ostensible instances of corruption have in common are their large size in terms of sheer magnitude and the brazen violation of the law they involve. If true, the allegations not only indicate that corruption still prevails but…

How Brazil can defend against Financialization Michael Hudson

In this article, it is argued that for developing countries, privatizing the public domain and financializing the economy is akin to military defeat. To defend themselves, the BRIC countries need to isolate themselves from global debt creation. And Brazil (as well as other developing countries), needs to promote the investment of its economic surplus for raising production and living standards, so as to create a positive feedback between higher wage levels and productivity, hence higher global competitiveness. Brazil (Download the full text in PDF format)

Protecting Foreign Investors C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh

Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), which have proliferated especially for developing countries, have far-reaching and typically negative implications for host country governments and citizens, because of the sweeping protections afforded to investors at the cost of domestic socio-economic rights and environmental standards. Protecting_Foreign_Investors  (Download the full text in PDF format)

Chinese Banking: The new frontier for global finance C.P. Chandrasekhar

Till recently China’s banks were described in terms that made them global pariahs. They were not seen as banks that mobilised savings for investment, but agencies for channelling State subsidies (named loans) to sate-owned enterprises with soft budget constraints. They were perceived as burdened with huge non-performing assets, which were a legacy of their position as an instrument of the State rather than commercial ventures. And they were considered to be corruption-ridden. Unless they were restructured and recapitalised with substantial infusion of funds, their closure was considered a serious possibility. Such assessments were particularly disturbing because the ‘big four’ wholly…

Bolivia on the Boil Jayati Ghosh

The current political turmoil in Bolivia is part of a wider movement in Latin America, of people rejecting not only corrupt politicians, but also –  and more importantly – the neoliberal economic policy paradigm that enriched a few at the expense of the vast majority. Bolivia is the poorest country in Latin America, with more than 70 per cent of its population estimated to be living below the official poverty line. In rural Bolivia the incidence of poverty is reckoned to be as much as 90 per cent of the population, and there is almost no access to basic amenities…

Foreign Direct Investment and Utilization of Natural Gas in Bangladesh Anu Muhammad

This paper investigates the natural gas sector of Bangladesh and examines whether optimum utilization of natural gas is directly or inversely correlated to the present form of Foreign Direct Investment in that sector. The findings of the study concludes that, FDI in gas sector was not warranted considering the local capability and demand-supply scenario. The article also examines the viability of exporting gas from Bangladesh. fdi_gas (Download the full text in PDF format)

Review of the 2004 World Development Report “Making Services Work for Poor People” Tim Kessler

On September 21, 2003, the World Bank unveiled its annual flagship publication, the 2004 World Development Report, entitled "Making Services Work for Poor People." The WDR's main premise is that basic services - primary education, basic health care, water and electricity services -fail to reach the poor because too many governments lack sound and representative institutions of governance. Ironically, the report expresses strong confidence in the ability of these same unaccountable governments to regulate private service provision. In addition to deficient institutions, the WDR attributes failing public services to regressive budgets (that benefit mostly the middle class), petty corruption, and…

Third World Water Forum: An agenda for public (risk) and private (profit) partnership!!! Mohan G Francis

The Third World Water Forum was held in the three neighboring Japanese cities of Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka from March 16th to the 23rd, on various interlocking themes dealing with water, especially on how to bring safe water and sanitation to the entire world. Some 24,000 participants from 182 countries attended the sessions. "The key issues addressed revolved around balancing increasing human requirements for adequate water supplies and improved health and sanitation with food production, transportation, energy and environmental needs. The forum in its conclusion while drawing up more than 100 new commitments felt that most countries would require more…