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Published byElaine Williamson Modified over 8 years ago
DEBT, PRIVATIZATION & Commercialization of Essential Services These are intimately linked – Debt creates the “need” and justification for privatization and other policies which lead to commercialization of essential services Debt is used as leverage for pushing privatization and related policies
DEBT, PRIVATIZATION & Commercialization of Essential Services Grants and loans are offered to finance privatization projects Privatization leads to onerous and illegitimate debts and liabilities
Debt - Creating the “need” for privatization & commercialization of Essential Services Public Debt servicing – big burden on government revenues and spending for most South countries High percentage of government revenues goes to service debts (interest and principal)
Creating the “need” for privatization and commercialization of essential services This leads to: Restrictions on expenditures, leaving little money for basic services and investments in public utilities More borrowings – not only by national governments but also by public agencies, state enterprises and government corporations including those involved in provision of services and utilities
Creating the “need” for privatization and commercialization of essential services Consequently, service institutions and public utilities are: Inadequate and poorly maintained Debt-ridden and burdened with debt service Operating with deficits
Creating the “need” for privatization & commercialization Response and solutions: PRIVATIZATION More revenues for cash-strapped governments Cut losses and liquidate “non performing assets” Private sector – has the capital & is more efficient - will redound to greater benefits for the poor so privatization has become part of poverty reduction programs
Creating the “need” for privatization & commercialization 2 TYPES OF PRIVATIZATION SCHEMES ASSETS, RESOURCES and INFRATRUCTURES are sold to private corporations MANAGEMENT and CONCESSIONAIRE ARRANGEMENTS - long term contracts for running the service companies and enterprises
Creating the “need” for privatization and commercialization of essential services REVENUE GENERATION and FULL COST RECOVERY as main policy framework leading to COMMERCIALIZATON Streamlining of services and abolishing "low priority" or "non essential" programs Lower Subsidies for remaining programs Freeze on wages of public servants in the service agencies
Creating the “need” for privatization and commercialization of essential services Imposition of high user fees, counter-parting by beneficiaries, and other related policies ex. deposits required before medical attention is given, all medicines & supplies are charged, high consultation fees etc
Debt as leverage to impose / promote privatization Part of conditionalities and prescriptions in exchange for: new loans debt relief / debt cancellation good credit ratings and economic performance evaluations
Debt as leverage to impose / promote privatization Promoted implicitly & explicitly in fiscal and public expenditure management reforms market reforms sectoral reforms (water sector, power sector etc) poverty reduction programs
Leverage to impose / promote privatization Some of the countries in the Asia region where the WB has been active in pushing (and financing) privatization projects through policy prescriptions and loan conditionalities India Indonesia Philippines Nepal Pakistan Srilanka Vietnam
Debts to finance privatization World Bank & Asian Development Bank (ADB) finances (through loans): Pre-privatization projects -- designed to create the environment and meeting the requirements for private investments in services and utilities – ex: infrastructure improvements and financial, managerial and technical upgrading Privatization process – feasibility studies, evaluation and bidding processes, preparation and design of contracts, setting up of regulatory mechanisms, etc
Debts to finance privatization International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the WB– engages in equity lending and investments to private corporations involved in privatization
Other roles the World Bank, ADB and other international financial institutions play in the privatization process: Providing insurance for the private sector against commercial and political risk- MIGA - Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency; Arbitration of disputes between investors and states ICSID - International Court for Settlement of Investment Dispute
Debts to finance privatization Export Credit Agencies -- provide direct financing (through loans) as well as guarantees to private corporations, (mostly big multinational companies) in what are considered high-risk ventures and investments, many of which are privatization projects especially in the water and power sector.
Privatization leads to Bigger Debts Ways through the public debt burden is exacerbated because of privatization – New borrowings to liquidate debts of state enterprises to be privatized New borrowings to cover loss or delay of anticipated revenues from privatization Government guarantees for private sector loans (contingent liabilities)
Privatization - guarantees to private profits; illegitimate and onerous debts PUBLIC GUARANTEES and ASSUMPTION OF PRIVATE LOANS and LIABILITIES Many private corporations involved in privatization projects borrow part of their equity investments from commercial banks and other creditors. These creditors require various forms of government guarantees to these loans. When profits are not generated as expected, governments end up paying for the debts and liabilities of private corporations.
Privatization and onerous debts & liabilities ONEROUS and GROSSLY UNFAIR CONTRACTS with PRIVATE SECTOR Some privatization projects involve BOT and BTO contracts between the government and the private sector which contain onerous and grossly unfair unjust provisions which guarantee profits for private corporations and lead to illegitimate public debts and liabilities Example -- In contracts with Independent Power Producers (private): “take or pay” provisions; foreign exchange guarantees, fuel cost guarantees
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS IMF, WB, ADB, EIB, ECAs etc Global Corporations Northern Governments Europe WTO GATS International Consulting Firms Southern Governments Southern Private Corporations & Elites Commercial Banks & Financial Markets
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