Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Someone tells the good Doctor to heal himself

Today's Business Standard makes a valid point.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s call to Indian CEOs to emulate the Chinese model, made at a summit last week, should raise some eyebrows amongst those who have been observing the striking contrasts between the performance of the two economies over the last couple of decades.

For, any reasonable assessment would squarely pin the responsibility for the widening gap between the two, as between India’s own potential and actual achievement, on the Indian government itself.

The glaring divergence in India between the increasing availability and affordability of goods and services produced by the private sector and the deterioration in public services (including infrastructure) is one important manifestation of government failure in India.

I am not much into this "compete with China, or perish" meme; I think it is a load of bull, but I concede that it is a bull with a purpose. Businesspeople use it quite well as a tactic for, among other things, getting the Government to do what they want it to do. As long as it serves this purpose in a socially useful way (such as improving the "public services -- including infrastructure"), I have no problem with it.