Naidu frustrated with World Bank?

During his earlier stints as the chief minister of combined Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister was the most favourite political leader of the World Bank.It extended huge loans to the state for power sector reforms, irrigation, AP Reconstruction Project etc.World Bank chairman also visited Andhra Pradesh and appreciated Naidu’s administrative capabilities. In fact, at one stage, the opposition accused Naidu of being a stooge of the World Bank.

But now, as the chief minister of residuary Andhra Pradesh, Naidu has fallen down in the eyes of the World Bank.His application for Rs 4,700 crore loan for the construction of the state capital Amaravati is still pending with the bank, as the latter received several complaints from the farmers about large scale irregularities in the land pooling system and other project works.

Naidu thought the Centre would come to its rescue in the form of funding for Externally Aided Projects as per the special financial package, but with the special category status demand coming to the fore, the Centre, too, stopped supporting his demand.

The latest news is that the World Bank, which almost finalised the loan sanction, has suddenly deferred it by another nine months on the pretext of conducting another investigation. It would examine the feasibility of the project before taking a decision on extending loan.It would mean Naidu would not get the loan before the next elections and the existing works which were launched with a hope on the World Bank would come to a halt. This has frustrated Naidu.

Sources said he is now contemplating cancelling the World Bank loan entirely and explore the other options.“In any case, not many countries and states are preferring World Bank loans these days. We cannot continue to wait for the loan. It is better we go in for other financial institutions,” a senior Andhra official, quoting Naidu, said.