India discovers vacant land may be a bad thing
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India discovers vacant land may be a bad thing


The past 15 years have been  very kind to India     and its emerging new economy.  The past few years however have not been so nice. One problem have been the traditionally sclerotic planning and development authorities who have been sluggish in releasing land for development, along with the overall mistrust of the free flow of capital and labor, dependent on the classic mid-20th century model of  Fabian socialism.

Recently, the Indian government reasserted its heavy hand by overturning the previously independent Indian judiciary by putting a tax on international partnerships and acquisitions retroactively to 1962.  Naturally, the backlash has been fierce and rapid.
Another factor that is slowing down India's formerly explosive growth particularly in urban areas is a familiar bugaboo of old-time land speculators, who have held the land out of use since the end of the Raj in 1947.

In response to the unreleased potential of urban land in India, the national Planning Commission has decided to do something about valuable vacant lands sitting fallow.  The Times of India reports that a vacant land tax ought to be instituted. 

That's good as far as it goes, but the tax rate will only be .5% of vacant land value, and will also tie public utilities into fee-for-service rather than the rental value of the land.  One ray of hope?  The comments on the webpage understand the role of land in the future of India.



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