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

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Telecom deregulation has led to a cozying up of government with the private sector, fuelling corruption.

The 2G scandal is not about one union minister abusing his position to favour a select number of private firms, nor about corruption or journalists selling their soul to lobbyists. The 2G scandal is ultimately the story of a breakdown of state institutions and their capture by robber firms – all part and parcel of a continuing hollowness in the Indian deregulation process.

Telecom is only one of many sectors that have been subjected to regulatory capture by the more powerful among private companies. Whether it is power, mining, petroleum refining, or highways, government policies and bidding processes have often been twisted to favour the firm with the greater clout and by implication the one willing to share a larger piece of the cake with the political party in power. As India has been opened up, its assets too have been opened up for award to the companies with the most influence and riches.

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