People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 39

September 26, 2004



They Are Not Just Advisors: Karat To Ahluwalia


Below we reproduce the full text of the letter written by Prakash Karat, member of the CPI(M) Polit Bureau, to Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of India, on September 18, 2004.

I HAVE received your letter of September 11, 2004 after I returned to Delhi.


As far as I know, the Planning Commission has in the past too set up consultative bodies which had an advisory role. But none of the earlier commissions included representatives of the World Bank and other similar agencies in the consultative groups. It is now for the first time that the Planning Commission has decided to include representatives of the World Bank and the ADB in the consultative groups.


The Left parties have objected to this arrangement precisely because it introduces official representatives of these agencies into the mechanisms of the Planning Commission. The functions of the consultative groups include, I am told, asking central and state government officials to make presentations before them.


There is a widespread feeling in the country that since 1991, agencies like the IMF and the World Bank have had an undue influence on policy making in our country. The impact of policies conditioned by these agencies has had harmful effects on our economy and society. With a new government in place, it becomes all the more important to dispel such a notion and not to be seen as further accommodating such agencies in our policy making structures.

I hope you will keep these factors in mind while proceeding with the mid-term appraisal.