Saturday, December 20, 2008

development and democracy : the inverse relationship

"What makes infrastructure investments in developing countries tricky is politics. Even in China, where agricultural land has been ruthlessly acquired for new roads, opposition is growing. In democracies the obstacles are even greater. Mr. Kant [of Tata Motors] says that in the five decades after independence India built almost no new roads. That changed when the pro-business Baharatiya Janata Party came to office in 1999. But since a Congress-led coalition took over in 2004, road-building has dropped off again."

"About 40% of India's road traffic is carried on just 2% of its roads, most of which leave much to be desired."

The Economist, A Special Report on Cars in Emerging Markets, November 15th 2008, p. 17

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