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Showing posts from July, 2007

Pasricha To Patil: India's Ultimate Public-Private Partnerships

A few years ago, while looking for an apartment for rent in central Mumbai, I chanced upon a flat in a building that `belonged' entirely to bureaucrats working for the state government (Maharashtra).

I met the owner of the flat, who worked with a state-run industrial agency and discussed the terms, which, not surprisingly, were quite outlandish. What was more outlandish, as I thought more about it, was how the gentleman in question had acquired the property, on prime land, worth crores of rupees or close to half a million dollars when his annual salary could not have been more than Rs 500,000 or $12,000.

The plot, so to speak, was simple. Mr K, along with his peers, had cornered a government-owned piece of land in the heart of the city and got it `dereserved'. Next step, get together, form a society and put up the building. At prices that anywhere between a tenth and twentieth of the real cost. It also dawned on me that Mr K had not only ripped me off as a taxpayer by usurping p…