Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Varshney Weighs in on India's Land Management

February 24, 2011

Institute Faculty Fellow Ashutosh Varshney weighed in recently in the Financial Times and New York Times on aspects of India's struggle to reform century-old land policies in the face of rapid growth.

Any enterprise involving land or mining rights cannot be free from suspicion of corruption, he said in a Financial Times article titled “India’s Business Titans are Losing their Luster.” He compared these businesses to the relatively corruption-free Indian sectors in IT, biotech, pharma, and consumer goods.

And in a New York Times article titled “Highway in India Offers Solution to Land Fights,” Varshney offered that “any agricultural piece of land, when it is turned into industrial or commercial land — that act itself raises the value of the land by a factor of 10 to 100. So the offer of a ‘market’ price is actually meaningless.”