Recently I have been using the example of cheap and available cell phones in India to explain the power of markets and competition versus government to increase availability and decrease prices of goods.  Should we give government power to distribute cellphones?  No. That would be ridiculous.  Okay, not everyone has one yet, but about 70% of India’s population has them and the availability and price reductions keep advancing at a very rapid rate. Therefore, we should be trying to make more of the economy like the cell phone market.

Well, guess what: the UPA government is promising to give everyone BPL household a cell phone.  No joke.

I must say this news is quite depressing and not a good sign for India’s prospects of moving in the right direction.

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The opinions expressed in this essay are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CCS.