Previous Section Index Home Page


Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she will reply to the letter of 12 December from the hon. Member for Totnes concerning Mr. C. Kelland of Dartmouth, Devon and digital television. [43139]

Dr. Howells: I replied to the hon. Gentleman on 17 January 2002 and I have sent him another copy of my reply.


Public Service Agreements

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Solicitor-General if she will list the public service agreement targets which have been revised and those which have been introduced since the publication of the 2001 departmental report. [43257]

The Solicitor-General: The Law Officer's Departmental Report for 2001–02 to 2003–04 was published in March 2001. The departmental report reported performance against

19 Mar 2002 : Column 200W

PSA targets agreed in the 1998 comprehensive Spending Review and set out the new targets agreed as a result of the SR2000 Spending Review. Since their publication in the departmental report, there have been no changes to these PSA targets.

Porton Down

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Solicitor-General when the Attorney-General expects to make a decision regarding a new inquest into the death of Ronald Maddison at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down under section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988; and if she will make a statement. [43441]

The Solicitor-General: The applicant for the Attorney-General's consent to an application to the High Court for a fresh inquest under section 13(1)(b) Coroner's Act 1988 into the death of Ronald Maddison at Porton Down in 1953 is Her Majesty's Coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon. He has asked that his application is not considered until the evidence of a recently discovered witness is made available to the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General will consider the application when that evidence is received.



Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many chartered engineers there are in her Department; and what grades they hold. [43583]

Clare Short: There are a total of 34 chartered engineers working for DFID as permanent and pensionable staff, of which two are at the SCS level, 16 are at the A1 level and 16 are at the A2 level.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what use her Department makes of engineers to alleviate world poverty; and if she will make a statement. [43581]

Clare Short: Infrastructure services play a key role in both directly addressing poverty (access to safe water, the provision of clean energy, transport, etc.) and, more indirectly, in contributing to longer term sustainable poverty elimination. Effective services supported by adequate physical infrastructure are essential if we are to promote the rates of economic growth in our partner countries necessary to meet the millennium development goals.

DFID's engineering staff are employed both in our infrastructure and urban development department in London (where they are responsible for developing innovative approaches to meeting infrastructure service needs and managing a wide ranging knowledge and research programme) and in our country and regional offices (where they are working with our partner Governments to help them take forward programmes which draw on the innovation and knowledge programmes developed in the centre).

I see our professional engineering staff, and the programmes they help to develop and implement, as a very important part of DFID's contribution to our poverty

19 Mar 2002 : Column 201W

elimination agenda. I will shortly be publishing a strategy paper highlighting the importance of infrastructure services to the achievement of the millennium development goals and setting out the approach proposed by DFID to maximising the poverty elimination potential of work in the infrastructure sector.

CDC Capital Partners

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when she last had discussions with officials from CDC Capital Partners regarding their investment strategy; and when she next plans to do so. [43659]

Hilary Benn: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development discussed the CDC investment policy and related issues with the chairman and chief executive in November last year. Her next meeting with CDC will be in April 2002.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the countries in which CDC Capital Partners has closed its offices in the last three years. [43656]

Hilary Benn: Since 1999 CDC has closed offices in Peru, Trinidad, Jamaica, Uganda, Malawi, Bangladesh, Philippines, and Fiji. CDC continues to manage existing investments and look for new investment opportunities in these countries from neighbouring regional offices.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if it is her policy to compensate those from whom investment has been withdrawn by CDC Capital Partners. [43658]

Hilary Benn: No. CDC has sold some investments to other owners, well placed to develop these businesses further. These disposals have been done in a socially responsible manner.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the projects from which CDC Capital Partners has withdrawn its investment in the last three years. [43657]

Hilary Benn: CDC Capital Partners sold its investments in the following enterprises:

Rusitu Valley Development Co. (pvt) Ltd.Zimbabwe
Corporacion Privada de Inversiones de CentroamericaCosta Rica
Textiles Rio Lindo SA de CVHonduras
Alliance Credit InternationalIndia
Apollo Tyres Ltd.India
Credit Capital Venture Fund (India) Ltd.India
DSQ Software Ltd.India
Modi Mirlees Blackstone Ltd.India
Wipro Financial Services India
Blantyre Netting Co. Ltd.Malawi
Vanik Inc. Ltd.Sri Lanka
Neopac (Swaziland) Ltd.Swaziland
Trinidad Cement Ltd.Trinidad and Tobago
Industrial Credit Co. ZambiaZambia
Safety, Security and Justice Management (pty)South Africa
Clovergem Celtel Ltd.Uganda
Zimbabwe Development BankZimbabwe
Tip Top Industrial Co. Ltd.Nicaragua
PT Semens Andalas IndonesiaIndonesia
Kawalazi Estate Co. Ltd.Malawi
Sable Farming Co. Ltd.Malawi
East Umbara Tea Co.Tanzania
Rwenzori Tea InvestmentsUganda
Chilanga CementZambia
Mbeya CementTanzania
Portland CementMalawi
Capital Developments Ltd.Malawi
National Seed Cotton MillingMalawi
Home Finance Co. Ltd.Fiji
Tropik Wood Industries Ltd.Fiji
Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd.India
India Access FundIndia
ABC Holdings Ltd.Botswana

19 Mar 2002 : Column 202W


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contingency plans she has made to deal with the consequences of the elections in Zimbabwe. [43664]

Hilary Benn: We are very concerned about the future for ordinary Zimbabweans. The election outcome is likely to accelerate poverty and hunger. The UK is working with key stakeholders and the international community to urge policy changes on the part of the Zimbabwe Government to halt the catastrophic decline in agriculture, the economy, and social services. In parallel, we continue to provide humanitarian assistance for the vulnerable, and to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic that affects one in three adults in Zimbabwe.


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much overseas aid is provided to the Congolese Banyamulenge community in Burundi. [43665]

Hilary Benn: DFID does not provide any aid that is targeted specifically at the Congolese Banyamulenge community in Burundi. DFID has provided £350,000 to the British Red Cross to assist Congolese refugees in Tanzania, which include some Banyamulenge. We have also provided about £1 million in general humanitarian assistance to programmes in Burundi itself during this financial year. The UK continues to support the full implementation of the Arusha and Lusaka Peace Accords to achieve a lasting peace in the region.

Indigenous Peoples

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the rights of indigenous peoples in her Department's development policy. [43663]

Hilary Benn: DFID's aim is the elimination of poverty in poorer countries. Discrimination and marginalisation is frequently a cause of poverty, and we are seeking to ensure that poor people are consulted on policies and decisions that affect them and are aware of their rights. By adopting such an approach, we aim to promote social justice, including tackling discrimination against indigenous people and ethnic minorities.

19 Mar 2002 : Column 203W

Next Section Index Home Page