From Conor Friedersdorf, associate editor at The Atlantic:
“The normal mindset among U.S. officials is that prior permission should be required to sell legal goods to a willing buyer.
INTERVIEWER: Is it fair to say that to a certain extent the Permit Raj led to stagnation of the economy and the choking off of entrepreneurial growth?
MANMOHAN SINGH: Yes, I think it gave rise to what I sometimes describe as functionalist capitalism. Capitalism historically has been a very dynamic force, and behind that force is technical progress, innovation, new ideas, new products, new technologies, and new methods of managing teams. If you have a rigidly controlled economy, cut off from the rest of the world by infinite protection, nobody has any incentive to increase productivity and to bring new ideas. Therefore, the license Permit Raj became a great handicap in carrying forward the sustained process of sustained growth.