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Showing posts from July, 2014

World Bank prepares new advisory: Free, prior, informed consent "must" for land acquisition for any project

By Rajiv Shah
At a time when the Government of India is considering to tone down two of the main components of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 – social impact assessment and consent – a top World Bank document, leaked to Counterview, has insisted that there cannot be any land acquisition without “free, prior and informed consent.” Pointing towards the need to “strengthen meaningful consultation with vulnerable groups, project-affected communities, and indigenous peoples”, it has added, “Emphasis should be on the need for strong and consistent risk assessment and risk management.”
The document – in draft stage to be placed before an experts committee on July 30 at the World Bank headquarters in Washington – insists on avoiding and mitigating “adverse impacts to people and the environment” when a project is being implemented with its funds. It also wants its borrowers to conserve and rehabilitate “biodiversity …

Rangarajan committee report: 11 major states out of 20 have lesser percentage of poor than Gujarat

By Rajiv Shah
Latest report on measuring poverty authored by a committee headed by former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor C Rangarajan, has found that as many as 11 major Indian states out of 20 have fewer percent of poor than Gujarat. Submitted to the Modi government as a plea to come up with a new poverty criterion that takes into account “public expenditure that is being incurred in areas like education, health and food security”, and linking it with consumer price index, the report says that Gujarat has 27.4 per cent below poverty line people (BPL), or 1.69 crore – 1.1 crore in rural areas (31.4 per cent) and 5.89 crore (22.2 pe cent) in urban areas.
Basing on two separate surveys, carried out by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), the Government of India’s data collection centre, and the top independent body, Centre for Monitoring Economic Economy (CMIE), the survey, commissioned to the committee about a year ago, has found that at the all-India level there are 36.…