XAT 2013 Question 41

Instructions

Read the following caselet and choose the best alternative:

Head of a nation in the Nordic region was struggling with the slowing economy on one hand and restless citizens on the other. In addition, his opponents were doing everything possible to discredit his government. As a famous saying goes, "There is no smoke without a fire", it cannot be said that the incumbent government was doing all the right things. There were reports of acts of omission and commission coming out every other day.

Distribution of public resources for private businesses and for private consumption had created a lot of problems for the government. It was being alleged that the government has given the right to exploit these public resources at throw-away prices to some private companies. Some of the citizens were questioning the government policies in the Supreme Court of the country as well as in the media. In the midst of all this, the head of the nation called his cabinet colleagues for a meeting on the recent happenings in the country.

He asked his minister of water resources about the bidding process for allocation of rights to setup mini-hydel power plants. To this, the minister replied that his ministry had followed the laid out policies of the government. Water resources were allocated to those private companies that bid the highest and were technically competent. The minister continued that later on some new companies had shown interest and they were allowed to enter the sector as per the guidelines of the Government. This, the minister added, would facilitate proper utilization of water resources and provide better services to the citizens. The new companies were allocated the rights at the price set by the highest bidders in the previous round of bidding. After hearing this, the head of the nation replied that one would expect the later allocations to be done after a fresh round of bidding. The minister of water resources replied that his ministry had taken permissions from the concerned ministries before allocating the resources to the new companies.

Question 41

Media reports suggested that the minister of water resources had deliberately allocated the water resources at old prices to the new companies, and in return some received kickbacks. However, the minister denied these charges. His counter argument was that he followed the stated policies of the Government and it is very difficult to price a scarce resource. He also said that the loss that the media is talking about is notional and in reality the Government and the citizens have gained by the entry of new players. Which of the following is the most appropriate inference?

Solution

The minister has stated that the loss is notional and in reality, the projects have benefited everyone. Options C and D talk about actual losses. The minister has not made any statement regarding the loss. Therefore, we can eliminate options C and D. Options A and B talk about notional losses. Again, notional losses should not be a factor deciding whether a project should be implemented or not. We can eliminate options A and B as well. None of the given statements are valid inferences and hence, option E is the right answer. 



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