ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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In Defence of Sitaram Kesri

consumers pay less then the subsidies have to be borne by the public exchequer Second, since the government needs foreign capital inflows for this purpose, it must make the policy environment for such foreign investment more favourable through a range of tax concessions, easier trade and labour restrictions, and the like. Third, the domestic capital market should be further liberalised to facilitate the generation of resources for infrastructure. In this regard the government also has to provide institutional support and guarantees to attract the kind of long-term funding that infrastructure requires. Fourth, the government should facilitate the mobilisation of resources for infrastructure investment by financial institutions, through such means as sovereign borrowing, liberalisation of the institutional finance market to allow private entry, launching of new schemes such as debt-securitisation and guarantees as part of a 'public-private partnership' in which the public sector effectively shoulders all of the risks with none of the benefits. The range of financial liberalisation measures proposed is sweeping indeed, goes well beyond the presumed brief of the Expert Group or even the conclusions of the Narasimham Committee Report which was explicitly devoted to the financial sector, and merits a separate critique in its own right.

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