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Updated: November 10, 2009 17:55 IST

Indians support greater govt role in regulating biz: BBC survey

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THE STATE'S ROLE: About 39 per cent of Indians in a survey support a “more active role” for the government in regulating businesses and 40 per cent are in favour of the government having a larger participation in redistributing wealth.
In the picture, a view of the North Block seen from the Parliament House. Photo: V. Sudershan
The Hindu
THE STATE'S ROLE: About 39 per cent of Indians in a survey support a “more active role” for the government in regulating businesses and 40 per cent are in favour of the government having a larger participation in redistributing wealth. In the picture, a view of the North Block seen from the Parliament House. Photo: V. Sudershan

Many Indians are in favour of the government doing more to control and own major industries in addition to having larger active role in regulating businesses, says a survey.

A global survey conducted for BBC World Service has also found that Indians support the government having a larger role in redistributing wealth.

“Roughly one-third (35 per cent) favour their government doing more to control and own major industries, while 29 per cent favour it doing less and 19 per cent favour it doing the same as present,” the report said.

About 39 per cent of the people in India support a “more active role” for the government in regulating businesses and 40 per cent are in favour of the government having a larger participation in redistributing wealth.

The survey is based on interviews of little over 29,000 citizens spread across 27 countries, including India, China, Australia, Canada, Pakistan, the UK and Japan. It was conducted by GlobeScan and its research partners for BBC World Service, between June 19 and October 13, 2009.

“Majorities would like their government to be more active in owning or directly controlling their country’s major industries in 15 of the 27 countries,” it added.

This view is widely held in the former Soviet states of Russia (77 per cent), and Ukraine (75 per cent), among others.

Dissatisfaction with free markets widespread

Moreover, 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, dissatisfaction with “free market capitalism is widespread”.

On an average, only 11 per cent of those surveyed across the 27 countries felt that free market capitalism works well and that “greater regulation is not a good idea.”

“In only two countries do more than one in five feel that capitalism works well as it stands — the U.S. (25 per cent) and Pakistan (21 per cent),” it said.

About 51 per cent of the people who participated in the survey across 27 countries felt that free market capitalism has problems that can be addressed through regulation and reform.

“Fatally flawed”

“An average of 23 per cent around the globe feel that capitalism is fatally flawed, and a new economic system is needed...,” the report said.

Among the Indians surveyed, 34 per cent thought that capitalism has flaws that can be alleviated with more regulation and only 23 per cent felt that an alternative system is necessary.

About 13 per cent are of the belief that free markets function well now.

Regarding the breakup of Soviet Union, 54 per cent feel it was a good thing, while 24 per cent thought the same to be a bad thing.

In India, 35 per cent of those surveyed said the disintegration of Soviet Union was a “negative effect”.

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