The first lesson for those experimenting with public-private partnership is that delegation or outsourcing of services delivery does not mean the government can abdicate its responsibility. Consider what has happened to the latest initiative of the ministry of external affairs to outsource the passport delivery services through a public-private partnership initiative. It took little time for the touts to detect loopholes in the new system and create new space for them to operate.

It is difficult to believe that the touts operate without tacit help of those in the government, whose clout got eroded as a result of the new system. Thus, it is important for the government to keep strict vigil over the operation of such initiatives for them not to become hostage to vested interests or touts. Read More