Tuesday, May 24, 2005


I can bet any article on the film censorship board in India will promise that the only way out of this mess called CBFC is if films were self-regulated - i.e movie-makers got together themselves to decide on the film ratings. I have my doubts on whether it would work in Bollywood.
But where I do believe self-regulation would work is in fixing autorickshaw rates in Chennai. Almost anyone who has been on an auto in Chennai cribs about how they are fleeced. But auto-drivers on the other hand claim they are helpless as the rates were last modified a few years ago, and fuel prices have rocketed up in the meantime. Well, what if the autodrivers were to fix prices themselves? Give them the autonomy of setting a rate card, but also simultaneously institute mechanisms by which it is ensured that drivers do not bargain for more. One would think that the autodrivers wouldnt set rates so high as to frighten away consumers. Also, autodrivers significantly lose bargaining power while negotiating with consumers as the rates were something they have agreed to, and not something forced upon them.
I believe this model does better in simulating the supply-demand mechanism while avoiding exploitation of individual consumers.

2 Value-adds:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

a slight aside..
i don't buy the auto drivers' argument. the rates which the drivers charge in chennai are significantly higher(imo) than in other cities. old rates doesn't justify a significant disparity between cities.

my take on chennai auto drivers and chennai in general. the prices of such services is an indicator of how corrupt the place is. The reason auto drivers in chennai charge more is because they need to pay more to the cop, rto etc etc.

I'm not saying that corruption doesn't exist in other places, just that it is higher in chennai and this is the hidden cost which makes it costlier for the auto driver in chennai.

(ofcourse, it is really tough for me to be objective about this ;) )


May 24, 2005 5:21 PM  
Blogger eV said...

hmm.. but how often do you think an auto driver would have to cough up something to a cop, or any other authority? am pretty sure the fuel price increase will be a lot more than such "miscallaneous expenditure"

May 24, 2005 5:52 PM  

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