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Breaking the Cycle of Neo-Liberal Economy: How the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund Stand Against the People
SUMMARY - The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, for the past few
decades, have provided third-world countries with loans and grants in
the name of such lofty pretexts as ‘poverty reduction’ and
‘international development’. These loans inevitably come tied with
conditions which hinder the country’s growth, a case of stepping on
someone’s chest even as they are being helped up.
The detrimental effects these conditions have had on Bangladesh are
immeasurable, but that does not mean they should pass unnoticed. VOICE
has published this report, a combination of media articles, two
insightful essays, and the summary of a seminar conducted by VOICE on
the eve of the WB-IMF Annual General Meeting held in Washington DC in
2007 on the subject of the subjugation of Bangladesh to World Bank and
This report will examine the neo-liberal hegemony currently
ensnaring the country from different perspectives, and also stand as a
historical analysis of the role of IFIs in Bangladesh thus far.
SUMMARY - A Policy Support Instrument (PSI) is a policy consisting of abstract
terms and conditions.
Usually, high profile IMF and government
officials discuss such policies. Academics, researchers, and analysts
working on policy issues understand the salient points, but it is
extremely difficult for the general public to understand the logic and
loopholes of such a deal.
During the recent visit of the IMF delegation to Bangladesh, there
were significant discussions and debates around their PSI offer.
Different stakeholders emerged, voicing their concern about the issue
through the media and other outlets. Civil society members, activists,
business groups and the media in Bangladesh once again proved
themselves active in the resistance against IMF impositions. The news
media published reports, opinion, comments, and analysis on the issue,
raising awareness all around the country.
This report is as much a commentary as a compilation of
formerly scattered information about PSI, and has attempted to
demystify PSI going from the definition to the analysis. Different
reports and views of newspapers also help to shed light on the issue
and to document what happened with respect to the PSI agreement.
SUMMARY - A battle is currently being raged in the global marketplace between
global and local economies. However, with the force of millions of
dollars of global capital supporting it, and a powerful influence over
the local governments and policymakers, the global side is definitely
not playing fair.
The World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have
been lending money to Bangladesh for many years, ostensibly under the
banner of ‘aid’. These loans inevitably come tied with conditions,
which hinder the country’s growth and keep down its people.
IMF-sanctioned policies, such as privatization of public services,
reduction of trade tariffs, supplanting local industries with cash-crop
oriented export industries, and many more, have left Bangladesh and its
people at the mercy of a free market economy which has no qualms with
profiting from the poverty of others.
In this training manual, Voice Bangladesh stresses that "economic literacy" is a prerequisite to conceptualize, understand, and fight for "economic justice". This manual could benefit NGO workers in the field, farmers, coordinators, political activists, students, and professionals at a local and national level.
It discusses issues related to the market, the fiscal year, wage, multinational companies, colonization, globalization, foreign aid, and donor agencies. Besides introducing these terms, the manual explains how corporate groups have invaded the market of developing countries and create an unjust economic order. Rich countries and multinational corporations are making profit by exploiting the markets of poor nations and brushing away the potential for small entrepreneurs.
Similarly, trade liberalization has inspired privatization which resulted in the governments of poor countries loosing control over their market and their people. It also depicts the policies of the major International Financial Institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the World Trade Organizations (WTO).
This report critically analyzes the politics of aid, the aspects of political economy in relation to aid and conditionalities. The paper also discusses the reform agenda tied with aid such as economic reform, trade liberalization and privatization etc, which put negative impact over people’s life and livelihood. It delineates the politics of donors’ over aid to the developing countries and also describes the impact of aid conditions over Bangladesh’s economy.
This report can be used as an important campaign material against the neo-liberal economic hegemony and also against the bilateral and multilateral impositions that impede the development process of a country like Bangladesh. Any part of this paper can used, reproduced with a simple acknowledgement; it is available in Bengali and English.
Politics of Aid and Conditionalities: The Crisis of Legitimacy of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund
This paper deals with the political economy of aid and conditionalities imposed by the donors such as World Bank and the IMF. It discusses the nature of aid conditionalities of different projects that enforce economic reforms, trade liberalization and privatization, and also of their negative consequences over the Bangladesh's economy. It also critically analyzes the role of global economic order in relation with bilateral and multilateral impositions and aid conditions over the poor countries.
This research paper can be used as an important campaign material against the neo-liberal economic hegemony and also against the bilateral and multilateral impositions that impede the comprehensive development process of a country like Bangladesh.
It can be useful for the activists, researchers, academicians and the members of the civil and political society. Any part of this paper can used, reproduced with the simple acknowledgement.