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Monday , 22 July 2024

The UN Recognition for achieving sustainable development goals

Why UN Agenda 2030

SECOND-FLYOVER-AFTER-OPENINGIn the 1960s and 1970s, many Latin American countries, notably Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, borrowed huge sums of money from international creditors for industrialisation; especially infrastructure programs. These countries had soaring economies at the time, so the creditors were happy to continue to provide loans.

The Asian model was led by Korea, followed closely by Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore. These development initiatives, supported by respective Governments, were flaunted in the early 80’s as the best way forward. Pointing at the tremendous success of these Countries, the World found pleasure in ridiculing India and even said, “look to Mexico, Brazil, and Korea”.

The sloth did India good. It did not look anywhere, and continued its drag. In mid nineties the development pundits asked not to look at Mexico, and such others, as their economies started plunging. The development models started collapsing, and fast. The paradigm changed and, instead, the World started asking developing countries to “look to India”. This was a good slogan for us, but thankfully, even this did not make India heady. For numerous reasons – reasons that make India what it is – it always looked for a sustained growth, irrespective of Global pressures. In short, almost whatever India did, sustainability was an essential need.

By the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century, the financial model of PPP gave the Governments the much needed breathing time and an extreme comfort level as the Private agency which will invest in the Project will find ways to recover the same from the public as user-fees or using the assets for a prescribed period. However, again the World was soon to find major flaws with this model, some of which were as follows:

  1. 2Where user fees were concerned, the public was more at the receiving end. The control regime was more often ineffective than otherwise. Escalations, competition and unrealistic or fluctuating user numbers often made the Private investor seek revisions in Concession. Satisfying the Private investor was often at the cost of the Public comfort. On the other hand, denying a revision to the Private investors often found Governments in a legal spot. It was a losing proposition all over.
  2. Land acquisition was a global issue. This assumed serious proportions when a Private investor was in the fray. Projects faced foreclosure because of this.
  3. In countries like India, resistance to the new paradigm grew from within the administration too. Established Public Sector felt threatened by the advent of the Private Sector investment in any sort of infrastructure. The public perception of responsibility started evolving for the better. It was no more a level playing field as perceived before launching the Project.
  4. Direct benefit of the infrastructure often failed to reach its desired goals and the “stakeholders”. For example, even though the quality and delivery of healthcare under PPP projects were superior, progressively it became less and less affordable to the ordinary man in the street. Some PPP project also upset or threatened an established local industry and its dependents.
  5. Global recession became a major spoiler of the PPP initiatives. Governments found it difficult to meet Annuity payments. Thrift made users find alternate ways, drastically upsetting projected revue models. There emerged an urgent need to have a direct people’s involvement in the Projects, and a predictable cash flow to be generated more by innovation and involvement of local population.

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