Back to the licence-permit raj in this season of bad ideas

It may be time to restore economics and prior consultation to their rightful place in the policy-making process, writes T N Ninan

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

T N Ninan

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This seems to be a season for bad ideas. The latest is the government’s decision to license the imports of personal computers, laptops, and notebooks. This is one of the few times that such a restriction has been imposed after import licences were mostly abolished more than three decades ago. So far the reversal of trade-policy reforms had been confined largely to jacking up tariffs, thereby abandoning about five years ago the previously stated intention to bring tariffs down to the levels prevailing in Southeast Asia. Now the government has gone a step further by re-introducing physical controls. The objectives are worthy (security and import substitution), but the road to the economic hell that India once was, was always paved
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

First Published: Aug 04 2023 | 6:02 PM IST

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