KSSP demands transparency in ADB loans

Special Correspondent

Wants full power for local bodies

The parishad fears privatisation of essential servicesSays pact will lead to denial of public water tap facility

Kozhikode: The Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) has demanded greater transparency regarding the agreement for loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed by the State Government. The KSSP said that people feared the move would lead to privatisation of essential services.

KSSP president K.N. Ganesh said transparency was essential, as it was feared that the agreement would lead to denial of public water tap facility and imposition of user fees for various services.

The KSSP spokesman said that although the LDF Government had announced that the conditionalities for the ADB loan no longer existed, a condition remained that there should be a middleman in the form of a foreign consultant between the local body and the State Government.

Another clause stipulates that there should be global tenders for all purchases costing more than Rs.45 crore.

The KSSP said local bodies should be able to utilise the loan without interference from the foreign consultant. The KSSP said resources for water supply, waste disposal and road development should be raised locally.

Local bodies were unable to utilise Plan funds and put to efficient use the revenue from tax.

Central policy

The Central Government policy encouraged foreign loans from agencies such as the ADB and discouraged attempts at resource mobilisation at the local-level, he said.

"This has to be resisted," Mr. Ganesh said. He demanded that if State Government was under pressure from the Central Government to accept the loans, the public should be made ware of it.

In the absence of political will and public vigil, utilisation of loans would not benefit the public, he said.

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