The Changing Nature of the Bank's Engagement in India
The WB has more recently acquired a new concern and a new modus operandi. The new concern is that the whole range of scarce natural resources or natural resources through private appropriation be made scarce to be privately appropriated. In other words creating private property in the realm of natural resources which essentially means that opening up the whole domain of natural resources for ownership of the property by private corporate players and multinationals.

This fits in with the kind of globalisation we are seeing. In this process of globalisation the process of accumulation takes the form of not just setting up new factories, not just accumulation in the sense of expansion of productive capacity but accumulation in the sense of grabbing. Accumulation in the sense of grabbing public property, common resources, natural resources, land of the peasants, space occupied by peasantary and petty producers all of which Marx would have called "Primitive accumulation of capital" but I would use the general term "accumulation through encroachment".

"Accumulation through encroachment" becomes a very dominant feature of the contemporary process of globalisation and the WB underwrites this, it promotes this through its numerous conditionalities creates a situation where accumulation through encroachment can thrive. It requires privatization of public sector assets and it requires grabbing of common property resources by multinationals. Sometimes these common property resources can't be grabbed only if you have the central government consent because it requires a degree of complicity that goes further down.

As you know the World Bank has infiltrated heavily the Central government, the financial ministries. In addition it has infiltrated heavy state government through its trading programmes. Of late the WB is trying to enter the sphere of decentralization, the sphere of local self-governing institutions. One of the main purposes of entering the local self government institutions is to facilitate precisely this business of making the whole range of resources hitherto not available for private appropriation available.


Arvin Kejriwal -Delhi Water Privatization
Amit Bhaduri - Response to the World Bank
Madhura Swaminathan - World Bank and Food Security


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