Words Never Die! 60 to 62
Bolan Voice has started new section “Words Never Die” in this section Bolan Voice would published important piece of writings. We think, Words never die and they as remain as in their period.
This time we are published piece of writing that taken from the Book “Power Politics” written by Arundhati Roy. Pages 60 – 62.
“Privatization” is presented as being the only alternative to an inefficient, corrupt state. In fact, it’s not a choice at all. It’s only made to look like one. Essentially, privatization is a mutually profitable business contract between the private (preferably foreign) company or financial institution and the ruling elite of the third world. (One of the fallouts is that even corruption becomes an elitist affair. Your average small-fry government official is in grave danger of losing his or her bit on the side)
India’s politicians have virtually mortgaged their country to the World Bank. Today,Indiaplays bake more money in interest and repayment installments than it receives. It is forced to incur new debts in order to repay old ones. In other words, it’s exporting capital. Of late, however, institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which have bled the third world all these years, look like benevolent saints compared to the new mutants in the market. There are known as ECAs – Export credit Agencies. It the World Bank is a colonizing army hamstrung by red tape and bureaucracy, the ECAs are freewheeling, marauding mercenaries.
Basically, ECAs insure private companies operating in foreign countries against commercial and political risk. The device is called an export credit guarantee. It’s quite simple, really. No first world private company wants to export capital or goods or services to a politically and/ or economically unstable country without insuring itself again unforeseen contingencies. So the private company covers itself with an export credit guarantee. The ECA, in turn, has an agreement with the government of its own country. The government its own country has agreement with the government of the importing country.
The upshot of this fine imbrications is that if a situation does arise in which the ECA has to pay its client, its own government pays the ECA and recovers its money by adding it to the bilateral debt owed by the importing country. (So the real guarantors are actually, once again, the poorest people in the poorest country.) Complicated, but cool, And foolproof.
The quadrangular private company – ECA – government – government formation neatly circumvent political accountably. Though they are all actually business associates, flak from noisy, tiresome nongovernmental organizations and activist groups can be diverted and funneled to the ECA, where, like noxious industrial effluent, it lies in cooling ponds before being disposed of.
The attraction of the ECAs (For both governments and private companies) is that they are secretive and don’t bother with tedious details like human rights violations and environmental guidelines. (The rare one that do, like U.S. Export – Import Bank, are under pressure to change.) It short-circuits lumbering World Bank-style bureaucracy.
It makes projects like Big Dams (which involve the displacement and impoverishment of large numbers of people, which in turn in politically risky) that much easier to finance. With an ECA guarantee, “developers” can go ahead and dig and quarry and mine and dam the hell out of people’s lives without having to even address, never mind answer, embarrassing questions.
Now, coming back to Meheshwar . . .
In order to placeIndia’s first private Big Dam in perspective, I need to briefly set out the short, vulgar history of Big Dams inIndiain general and on theNarmadain particular.”