India plans to push again in opposition to “agenda-driven”, “neo-colonial” nation rankings produced by world businesses on subjects like governance and press freedom, a key advisor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed Reuters in an interview on Friday.
Sanjeev Sanyal, a member of PM Modi’s Financial Advisory Council, mentioned India has begun to boost this problem at world boards. He mentioned the indices had been being compiled by a “tiny group of think-tanks within the North Atlantic,” sponsored by three or 4 funding businesses which can be “driving a real-world agenda.”
“It’s not simply narrative constructing in some subtle means. This has clear direct affect on commerce, funding and different actions,” Mr Sanyal mentioned.
India ranked decrease than Afghanistan and Pakistan within the new World Press Freedom Index launched by Reporters With out Borders. It was under Pakistan and Bhutan in an educational freedom index by V-Dem Institute.
Over the previous yr, India has in varied conferences identified the failings in strategies used to compile world indices utilized by establishments just like the World Financial institution, World Financial Discussion board (WEF) and the United Nations Improvement Programme (UNDP), Mr Sanyal mentioned.
The “World Financial institution is concerned on this dialogue as a result of it takes these opinions from these think-tanks and successfully sanctifies it by placing it into one thing referred to as the world governance index,” Mr Sanyal mentioned.
The World Financial institution, WEF, Reporters With out Borders and V-DEM Institute didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. UNDP mentioned it will reply shortly.
Mr Sanyal mentioned the rankings additionally get hard-wired into decision-making via environmental, social and governance (ESG) norms and sovereign rankings. Multilateral improvement banks supply subsidised loans to ESG-compliant tasks.
“The thought of getting some ESG norms is just not the issue in itself. The issue pertains to how these norms are outlined and who certifies or measures compliance to those norms,” he mentioned. “As issues are at the moment evolving, creating nations have been fully omitted of the dialog.”
The matter is being taken up by the Cupboard Secretariat, which has held greater than a dozen conferences on the problem this yr, a authorities official mentioned. The Cupboard Secretariat and finance ministry didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
India has mentioned it plans to be an advocate for creating nations beneath its G20 presidency. Mr Sanyal didn’t say if India has flagged the problem of nation rankings with the G20.
“There are different creating nations who’re additionally involved about this as a result of successfully this can be a type of neo-colonialism,” he mentioned, including that involved ministries have been requested to ascertain benchmarks and have interaction constantly with rankings businesses.
A number of the upcoming indices being watched out by India are monetary improvement index by Worldwide Financial Fund, gender inequality and human improvement indices by UNDP, logistics efficiency and worldwide governance indicators by the World Financial institution, sources mentioned.