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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tata Mundra: IFC’s Action Plan on CAO report is empty, is a non-starter

Tata Mundra: IFC’s Action Plan on CAO report is empty, is a non-starter

We reject this statement and action plan.

The 1.5 page statement and action plan on Tata Mundra issued by IFC CEO Jin-Yong Cai is a non-serious, non-committal one, and issued under duress from the growing criticism of IFC’s / World Bank President Kim’s inaction on CAO’s findings of serious social and environmental violations. It’s empty and a non-starter. By issuing this, IFC is trying to confuse the public, making a mockery of communities’ concerns and yet again, undermine CAO and its findings.

While some of the action plan stated are listing of actions taken pre-CAO time, some other are just suggestions, resulting in nothing particular. Eg: household level socio-economic survey, health survey and testing of ash residue for radioactivity and heavy metals. The action plan fails to say what happens after these surveys and testing. There are no timeline, no specific targets or indicators. Significantly, the statement says that it will bank on the expertise of the company, whose violations are in question.

Importantly, the statement is silent on IFC’s violations of its own policies, listed by the CAO. CAO, in its report issued last month found that:

· Environmental and Social risks and impacts of the project were not considered and addressed.

· There is no social baseline data

· IFC’s policies for land acquisition not applied, despite physical and economic displacement

· Inadequate attention paid to the requirement of biodiversity conservation.

· IFC failed in its review and supervision of the impacts on airshed & marine environment.

· IFC failed to examine the cumulative impact of projects around Tata Mundra

CAO concluded that “…the above weaknesses in IFC’s E&S review of CGPL did not support the formation of a robust view as to whether the project could be expected to meet the requirements of the Performance Standards over a reasonable period of time, the threshold question in terms of IFC’s decision to invest.”

The statement or the action plan fails to address any of these.

It is baffling that President Kim is still reluctant to take any action on the findings, and leave it to IFC, the violator, to be its own judge. He does not hold anyone accountable for the violations. Rather, he is putting precedence to his own staff and other clients, that violations will be tolerated and, maybe even, rewarded!

We reject this statement and action plan. This is only an attempt to obfuscate the liability and making mockery of communities’ concerns.

We, along with our allies and well-wishers in India and across the globe reiterate our demands:

· take appropriate actions to address the findings of CAO, starting with a remedial action plan to mitigate the impacts already shown on the ground and

· the withdrawal of IFC financing from the Tata Mundra coal project.

Bharat Patel
General Secretary
Machimar Adhikaar Sangharsh Sangathan

Contact: +91-9426469803