Public Private Partnerships in India

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Public Private Partnership or PPP is a subject being given the increasing attention that it has been receiving in context of the sweeping changes in India's economic policies. We are all aware, along with the dismantling of the license permit raj a greater role is envisaged for the private sector in these new policies. Now it seems that, the private sector is not only to be facilitated in its growth, but there it can be taken on board as a partner by the government in the provision of public services. This of course, is the purpose of PPP. For those of us who have had a long innings in Government, such thinking represents a paradigm shift from the way things were always done. I am aware of the fact that some expertise has been built up, in the country, on PPP techniques. The India Infrastructure Report 2004, brought out by the 3-I network, IDFC, IIMA and IIT Kanpur, had devoted an entire section to PPP. Previous Infrastructure Reports have also have had chapters devoted to various PPP issues. Indeed there are many projects in the country, which have been based on public private participation. PPP is being recommended not only for provision of infrastructure, but also for e-governance initiatives, and services in the social sector like health and education. But the point I would like to bring out again is that the large majority of administrators, is not aware of PPP techniques and may therefore be wary of using them in projects under their charge. This is where a source book, which outlines the basic concepts, and clearly shows the pros and cons of the method, would provide an extremely useful input for civil service probationers as well as for junior and middle level officers who attend in-service courses at LBSNAA. You will agree with me, that our job as trainers at LBSNAA, is to ensure that the knowledge developed in the field and in academic institutions is transferred on to as great a number of officers as possible....
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