Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Power Broking in India has only one edge: Industry

DoT acquires & sells telecom licenses & spectrum on behalf of the Govt. of India to private operators for expansion of telecom service. West Bengal government buys & sells land (in Singur & other places)  on behalf of its farmers to private corporate for expansion of industry. The answer to the principal question as to  which partner's interest  will the DoT/WB govt. look after in its working can depend only on the existing power equation (which in India equates to wealth generating capability).
Pre-1991 , Government ruled industry . Now after 2 decades of liberalisation , Industry rules government. 
The only major difference between Government and Industry is while  government is a single entity, Industry is a block of competitive entities. One disgruntled & powerful industrial entity can bring down an unfavourable minister. Maybe , cartelisation of all competing members (for example.. sugar lobby, cement lobby etc..) in a industry will make matters easier for the government. Mergers  and acquisitions too help in reducing the number of  business houses. But finally a cartel has to be in place.
The only contrary view to this is to stall the progress of government which , the opposition political party demonstrated in West Bengal in the case of Singur. But doesn't that  defeat the entire process of governance  ?  Maybe it changes the framework under which government has to function but with out doubt it slows down the lives of its citizens.

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