» Bhubaneshwar, orissa »
When Life's Line Runs Dry
As if all the political wrangling in his bjd was not enough, Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik is faced with a financial crisis. His government is in a fix with the World Bank and the Department for International Development (DFID), UK, refusing to release a structural adjustment loan of Rs 850 crore to meet the estimated plan outlay for 2002-03. The Orissa government was hoping the short-term loan from the international lending agencies would help it tide over the financial mess. Orissa is already tottering under a loan burden of Rs 20,000 crore.
A joint mission of the WB and DFID that visited Orissa clearly expressed its dissatisfaction with the way reforms were proceeding in the state. They objected among other things to the appointment of politicians as heads of PSUs, which are bankrupt and on the verge of closure, and the slow pace of power sector reforms.