3.12         ndian    onom
     activities. It was natural for the government to gain regional development, spread of small and ancillary
     control over the profits and dividends accruing       industries, low and stable prices, and long-term
     from them. The goods and services the PSUs            equilibrium in balance of payment. Over time the
     produced and sold provided disposable income to       PSUs have played a critical role in promoting the
     the government. The government had a conscious        growth and development of the country.22
     policy of spending the income generated by the             By the mid-1980s, there emerged a kind
     PSUs. They were to be used in the supply of the       of consensus across the world (including the
     ‘social goods’ or what is called the ‘public goods’.  IMF & World Bank) regarding the inefficiency
     And thus, India was to have a developed social        and under-performance of the PSUs (in the
     sector. by social goods the government meant the      wake of the idea of the Washington Consensus
     universal supply of certain goods and services to     which is said to promote ‘neo-liberal’ economic
     the citizen. These included education, healthcare,    policies across the world). In the wake of it,
     nutrition, drinking water, social security, etc., in  there commenced a process of privatisation and
     India. It means that the PSUs were also visioned      disinvestment of the PSUs among majority of
     as the revenue generators for the development of      the economies in the world—India being no
     the social sector. Due to many reasons the PSUs       exception to it. By late 1990s, new studies proved
     would not be able to generate as much profit as was   that under-performance and inefficiency could
     required for the healthy development of the social    be there in the private sector companies, too. By
     sector. This eventually hampered the availability     mid-2000s (in the wake of the US sub-prime crisis)
     of public goods in the country. In place of giving    a new consensus emerged among the international
     profits back to the government, a large number        organisations that state/government need not exit
     of the PSUs started incurring huge losses and         the economy and a kind of slow down towards
     required budgetary support at regularly.              privatisation moves of the PSUs across the world
     5. Rise of the Private Sector                         (the world in a sense is pushing the ‘pause’ button
                                                           on neo-liberalism) is under process.
     As the PSUs took the responsibility of supplying
                                                                India pursued a less ambitious disinvestment
     the infrastructure and the basic industries to the
                                                           policy from 2003–04 to 2015–16 (the government
     economy, a base for the rise of private sector
                                                           has decided to own controlling shares among the
     industries was slowly established. With the rise
                                                           divested PSUs). Since 2016–17 financial year, the
     of private sector industries in the country, the
                                                           government has decided to restart the process of
     process of industrialisation was thought to be
                                                           ‘strategic disinvestment’ (in which the ownership
     completed. Out of the many roles the PSUs were
                                                           of the PSUs may also be transferred to the private
     supposed to play, this was the most far-sighted.
                                                           sector). Such a policy of disinvestment was launched
     What happened to the different roles the PSUs
                                                           by the government in 2000 which was paused by
     were assigned is a totally different matter, to which
                                                           the UPA-I in 2003–04). The government has also
     we will return while discussing the industrial
                                                           decided in favour of selling increased shares of the
     scenario of the country. Here we have analysed
                                                           PSUs to the foreign institutions, at par with the
     why the government of India after Independence
                                                           domestic financial institutions. Such policy moves
     went for such an ambitious plan of expansion of
     the public sector.                                      22.  Sumit Bose and Sharat kumar, ‘Public-sector
          Besides, the PSUs were aimed at many other              Enterprises’, in kaushik Basu and Annemie Maertens
                                                                  (eds.), The New Oxford Companion to Economics in
     connected areas of developmental concerns,                   India, Vol. II, Oxford University Press, New Delhi,
     such as, self-sufficiency in production, balanced            2012, p. 578–83.