April 15, 2005, Financial Express
New Delhi

Our Economy Bureau

To achieve a growth rate of 8%, the government must implement policies which are coherent with a singular goal of achieving a better market place, according to Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS). It also points out that anti competitive business practices are rampant at the state level.

Incongruency can be seen in policies concerning the small scale reservations, the society adds.

“Closely linked with it are the state government procurement policies, under which both price and purchase prefernce are awarded to both small scale and other units,” according to a CUTS publication.

It also says that no central law or authority can be used easily to curb anti-competitive practices which exist in the retail sector.

More importantly, a research conducted by the society shows that most private schools insist that students buy their uniform and stationery from either their own store or a nominated shop, where prices are usually higher and whenever a complaint is made, it is at the risk of the student being rusticated.

On the cable TV sector, CUTS notes that at the consumer level, one has to deal with monopolies, which do not guarantee good serive and escalate prices frequently. While Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is dealing with the policy framework, they too have been exasperated with the situation at the ground level, it says.

According to CUTS, there have been a large number of regulatory failures, which in turn have pulled down the growth momentum. It also says that there is corruption at every level.