Exporting Best Practice

Another excerpt from Ingrid Hauge Johansen’s report on lobbying by the Lord Mayor of the City of London. In this report on a trip in May 2007 the Lord Mayor’s office sums up the attitude of Indian officials to Public-Private Partnerships:

The delegation’s detailed explanations of how PPPs have been used to enhance the development of infrastructure across a range of public services in the UK attracted a lot of interest from business and Government players, although there was much scepticism about the appropriateness of these techniques for funding the provision of social infrastructure in India’s current circumstance.

There is a huge appetite to learn from the UK experience, but India is still cautious about greater use of PPP in the social sectorUK players are interested, and there is considerable business potential in advising on risk sharing and scoping of infrastructure projects – we need to press harder.

Lucrative schemes to access tax revenues in the home province become templates for fee-generating adventures abroad … And faced with resistance, as Johanson notes, the response of the City is to ‘press harder’.

(This is another hidden cost of hosting the City. The British state becomes a showcase for innovations like privatization, PFI and public-private partnerships that are then foisted on developing countries. The relationship between domestic policy and the City’s interest in opening up state administration abroad to private capital deserves much closer investigation …)

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