There is a need to ensure greater competition in the country in sectors such as public transport, railways and power distribution, which are dominated by the public sector, to ensure better products and services, according to Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister.
“Competition is at the heart of a market economy. Socialism, per se, is anti-competitive as it promotes state-owned monopolies and restrictions. That is never in the consumer interest. It is always competition which ensures that the best product and service wins,” he said while delivering a lecture on ‘Competition, Regulator and Growth’ at an event organised by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). “Competition creates innovation, efficiency, price competitiveness, greater choice and better quality of products and services and higher investment,” he said.
Turning to the public transport in states where government-owned companies enjoy a monopoly, he said the Centre wants to free this sector up for competition and will work with the state governments on the matter.
Referring to state government-owned power distribution companies, he said they were the third-largest contributor to bad loans – mostly due to the populist policies adopted by the state governments to score political brownie points.
Opening up the power distribution to competition is an important reform that must be done soon, Mr. Jaitley said.