PSI research on ADB in the Power Sector in India

Over the years, PSI has created a body of work on the series of reforms in the electricity sector in India and the role of International Financial Institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank.

PSI started its regular engagement with ADB on CLS issues since 2005 and has denounced many cases of workers and labour rights violations in ADB funded projects in Asia Pacific region, such as forced labour, child labour, discrimination against women workers, lack of collective bargaining and freedom of association and precarious employment such as part-time job, dispatched workers, temporary or contractual workers, or outsourced workers.

Below are a few of the reports available for download.

  • The report of the Public Services International-Asia Pacific Regional Organization (PSI-APRO) Madhya Pradesh Power Sector Reforms Research Mission of September 2008, highlights the issues faced by workers. The report shows that after 10 years of the implementation of the reforms, most of the issues rasied by the workers of the Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board (MPSEB) remain unresolved, including transfer schemes that did not address adequately services conditions and benefits, such as pension, as well as core labour standards. All these have resulted in employees’ humiliation, frustration, low morale, demotivation and reduction in service performance levels, contrary to ADB claims of ‘no adverse effects on functioning of the companies.’
  • Core Labour Standards in ADB funded Power Sector Improvement and Urban Development Programme in Bihar, India, by Souparna Lahiri, August 2011, looks into the compliance and implementation of CLS in two ADB funded projects in Bihar covering power sector and water supply (under urban development programme). Bihar Power System Improvement project was approved and kick stated at a time when the Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) employees were agitating on the issues of lack of fresh recruitment, regularization of contract employees, security of pensioners and service benefits and allowances. Yet, the project design and implementation failed to recognise the BSEB unions as stakeholders and are not included in any consultation or communication strategy to resolve existing issues. The report finds that, in fact, the ADB projects made matters worse.

The ADB is celebrating its 50th year at their annual meeting to be held 4-7 May in Yokohama, Japan, with the theme "Building Together the Prosperity of Asia". PSI will join the protests in Japan and in India that challenge the narrative of the ADB about the successes of their lending and highlighting the enormous damage the lending has caused to people and environment.

In India, PSI wil  join other trade unions, people’s movements and other civil society organisations in the effort to hold over 50 actions of protest during the week of May 1-7,  Please visit for details about the programs.