The water business

Water has become a new pet subject for Indian industry. Not because it is concerned with the depleting water resources or its own contributions to growing pollution. Because it sees a new and lucrative business opportunity. With support from the World Bank, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and other associations are competing with each other to establish their role in the water business. Last month saw a spate of conferences on this issue, with industry participants drooling about the huge investment requirements for drinking water and sanitation.

I am not against private sector involvement in water per se . But given the political economy of water and sewerage in the country, I believe their role will be extremely limited. The simple assumption of private sector proponents is that if water is correctly priced