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A network of trade unions and social activists, has released a People's Manifesto

The Jagnyachya Hakkache Aandolan (JHA), a network of trade unions and social activists, has released a People's Manifesto and asked opposition parties to include their positions in their platforms. “The issues in this manifesto include curtailing widespread privatisation, giving remunerative rates to farmers for their produce, increasing the minimum wages of workers, thrust on public transport, health and education.” [Hindustan Times, 7 March 2019]

Source: peopleoverprof.it

Haryana Roadways Employees On Strike Against Privatisation Of Transport System

Haryana Roadways employees went on a two-day strike to protest the state government's decision to introduce 700 private buses in the state. “Despite the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) being in force, the roadways workers went on strike and staged sit-ins at several depots across the state, including in Rohtak, Sirsa, Hisar, Ambala and Chandigarh, under the banner of Haryana Roadways Karamchari Joint Action Committee.” Haryana Roadways Workers Union general secretary Sarbat Singh Punia said “We want the Haryana government to withdraw its decision of introducing private buses in the state. (…) Despite the government’s move to crush our strike by imposing the ESMA, ordering suspension of many workers and rounding up 176 of our workers and leaders, over 4,000 buses remained off roads.”

Inside look at the “failure of privatization"

Steve Gillan, General Secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association (POA), provides an inside look at the “failure of privatization of our 10 railways, prisons and other public services in the ASLEF Journal. “The POA has consistently opposed budget cuts and the privatization of not just prisons but our utilities such as gas, water and electricity, along with our railways and NHS,” Gillan writes, “because successive governments have not cared about the consequences of cuts and have had an obsession with private enterprise over public services which, in real terms, is always a race to the bottom.”

Privatization of public services hurts women’s access to public spaces

Privatization of public services hurts women’s access to public spaces, so protests against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s privatization plans are growing. “Research conducted by the Gender and Space project, of which I [Shilpa Phadke] was a part, between 2003 and 2006 on women’s access to public spaces in Mumbai, published in the book Why Loiter?, demonstrated unequivocally that public transport—the city’s network of BEST buses, suburban trains and the links between the two—made Mumbai the friendliest, most accessible city in the country for women. A decade later, we are seeing the gradual erosion of BEST services and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s articulation of its intent to hand over operations to private agencies and sell bus depots to real estate developers. In short, to unravel a system that works, and works brilliantly.”

Source: Scroll.in

Learning from Africa’s Experience of Privatization

To coincide with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s visit to the U.S., during which concerns were voiced about his stated intention to engage in widespread privatization of state-owned enterprises, Ewnetu Haile takes a look back over the recent history of privatization in Africa, periodizing it and offering some suggestions as to why it slowed or ground to a halt in the past. “Unsuccessful privatization programs are associated with high levels of corruption, poor value for money to the tax payer and increasing levels of inequality. On the contrary, the [LSE] paper notes, positive indicators for success would include strong government ownership of the process, well-designed and sequenced reforms, the implementation of complementary policies, the creation of regulatory capacity and good corporate governance structures, attention to poverty and social impacts, and strong public communication.” He adds that “privatizing health care and public transport may not be as successful as the profit motive is less important than public interest.”

Source: aigaforum.com

The government has announced that it will privatize a broad swathe of public companies

Responding to serious financial pressure and a shortage of foreign exchange, the government has announced that it will privatize a broad swathe of public companies. “But a party in the ruling coalition is calling for an emergency meeting, saying the dramatic reforms were decided on without full consultations. The statement by the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) appears to be the biggest challenge so far for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.” The World Bank urged Addis Ababa “to make good regulatory frameworks if it is to reap the economic growth from its privatization.”

Source: DW.COM

Want to Fight Inequality and Climate Change? Then Improve Public Services

Asked to imagine how we might solve the crises of climate change or inequality, it’s not the first solution that comes to mind. But our public services are among the most effective ways we have to build communities that are vibrant, green and inclusive. That’s the message of The Future is Public, a conference taking place in Montreal in mid-June with coast-to-coast and international participation. There’s a good reason why this role of public services isn’t immediately obvious to many people. We’ve been beset by decades of corporate propaganda that tells us public services are inefficient and irrelevant. That our lives will be improved not by government, but by private businesses.

Source: The Tyee

"There are tons of stories on the failure and economic crises resulting from ill-advised privatizations"

The government has announced that it will privatize a broad swathe of public companies. Companies to be privatized include Ethiopian Airlines, Ethio Telecom, ESLSE, railways, power plants, industrial parks, sugar factories, hotels and other assets. But Getachew Alemu, an investment and development consultant with over 13 years of experience in government and the private sector, notes that “there are tons of stories and researches on the failure, chaos and economic crises resulting from ill-advised privatizations done in developing countries from Asia to Latin America.”   

Source: Addis Standard

From anti-privatization to pro-public

David McDonald is a professor of Global Development Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario whose work over the years has focused on issues related to public services and privatization, mostly in contexts in the Global South and in Europe. Scott Neigh interviews him about his role as a co-organizer of The Future is Public, a conference happening in Montreal on June 15 and 16 that will bring together more than 150 activists, trade unionists, and researchers from across North America to discuss struggles and successes from around the world and to begin figuring out what it might mean to articulate a vision for public services that is not just anti-privatization but one that is resolutely pro-public when it comes to things like water, health care, education, energy, transportation, and all the rest.

Source: rabble.ca

The government has raised private capital requirements for ‘public-private partnerships’

The government has raised private capital requirements for ‘public-private partnerships’ from 15% to 20% of equity. “The Vietnamese government is encouraging PPP investments in areas such as transportation, power generation and transmission, public utilities, social infrastructure, commercial infrastructure and agricultural and rural development. Other sub-sectors can also be targeted under the prime minister’s discretion.”

Source: www.infrastructureinvestor.com