Posts Tagged ‘Licence-Raj’

Back to Licence-Raj?

Two articles in today’s ET woke me up from my mini writing-slumber.

One: Worried by rising inflation, the government is contemplating invoking the long defunct section 18G of the Industrial Development & Regulation Act, 1951, which would allow price ceilings to be imposed on ‘essential’ commodities. Now, one doesn’t need to be an economics or public policy expert to understand that the govt. does need to keep rising prices under check, and, not only because this happens to be the election year! Hence, I do not doubt the FM’s intentions behind this move. What worries me is the execution part.
I do not think that our corrupt-to-the-core state politicians (not that most of them at the center are any better) are eligible to handle this extra authority. Horror tales of the pre-liberalization era force me to believe that this might be another Frankenstein in the making.

The second article was kind of funny (and tragic!). It read like a spoilt child throwing a tantrum, “Papa, change the rules of this game because I can not win it by fair means!”
(Well, it didn’t literally say that but almost did…)
The gist is this: The Indian Postal Department wants the postal and courier services to be regulated so that:

  1. The private players have to obtain a licence from the postal department for offering their services.
  2. The private players have to price their offerings at least 5 times higher than the corresponding services provided by the postal department!!!

The second point is so ridiculous, I still can’t believe they actually asked for it! Apparently, the PMO has shot down the proposal. (Thank God!).

Those of us born in the 80’s (and later) are fortunate to have grown-up in an open economy. Today, a passionate middle class young person without any political connections can at least dream of and hope to start his/her own entrepreneurial venture and be a wealth-creator. An employment-generator rather than a job-seeker.

Please, we don’t want to go back to the licence-raj!


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