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.”