India’s Ownership Problem – Part 4

A significant part of public wealth of India is locked up in the land and minerals which are under government control. We do not have ownership of our...

Continuing the series on our country’s ownership problem: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

We do not have ownership of our national wealth.

For long, the public wealth (that which is not owned privately) of India has been captured by those in government and used for enlarging government and to enrich themselves. The result is that even after 70 years of independence, we are not prosperous. The average income of a family in India is just Rs 10,000 per month. Most working Indians are stuck between earning Rs 6,000 from NREGA and Rs 15,000 from a formal sector job. This makes it extremely difficult to get out of poverty. By now, we should have all been 10 times richer had we stopped feeding the anti-prosperity machine which we call “the government”.

Public wealth estimates

A significant part of the wealth of India is locked up in the land and minerals which are under government control. Land is misused, unused, disused and abused. Public sector units, government officials and various government departments control land. If this land could be brought into production, the doors to creating wealth would be opened. The mineral wealth in the country is locked up with monopolies or sucked out by crony capitalists in connivance with corrupt government officials. The result is that these resources are not used for the benefit of the people.

Our share of the public wealth

Nayi Disha’s estimates are that every Indian family has Rs 50 lakh of wealth locked up in land and minerals. This is equivalent to $20 trillion dollars. This is the aggregate wealth of the people of India. But they don’t even know it. This treasure has been hidden from the people by every government. As a result, even though India is rich, Indians are poor.

Taken together, the lack of ownership of income, property and national wealth has kept us from achieving our true potential, constrained the entrepreneurial abilities of people and made Indians amongst the poorest in the world.

This is the problem that must be solved if Indians are to get on the path to prosperity.