TCA Srinivasa-Raghavan puts Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the dock:
It is also useful to dwell on the imperatives that have been at work. Basically, the public and private thing, for instance in infrastructure, is the result of bad governance. The governments transfer the little money they collect from the cities to the countryside because the votes are there. The cities suffer. The government doesn’t have the money to improve things, so they turn to the private sector, which makes the investments and hopes to earn a profit.
In a sense, then, the surplus that should have accrued to the government goes to the private sector. In due course, this means the government will have even less to transfer from the cities to the countryside. Not just that either, because even the little that is transferred out will end up in the pockets of politicians and bureaucrats.
This is what has been happening till now and that is why we need good government. This is what makes Dr Singh’s strategy so vexing, especially when he talks of the need for government reform, if only to deliver public services better. [Business Standard]