6.8           ndian    onom
     from the ‘north to the south’. Similar is the case           (i) Privatisation in its purest sense and
     with the process of liberalisation.                                lexically means de-nationalisation,20
          It means, in the Indian case the term                         i.e., transfer of the state ownership of the
     liberalisation is used to show the direction of the                assets to the private sector to the tune
     economic reforms—with decreasing influence                         of 100 per cent. Such bold moves took
     of the state or the planned or the command                         place only once anywhere in the world
                                                                        without any political fallouts—in the
     economy and increasing influence of free market
                                                                        early 1980s of the UK under the Thatcher
     or the capitalistic economy. It is a move towards
                                                                        regime. This route of privatisation has
     capitalism. India is attempting to strike its own
                                                                        been avoided by almost all democratic
     balance of the ‘state-market mix’. It means, even if
                                                                        systems. In the mid-1990s some West
     the economic reforms have the direction towards                    European nations—Italy, Spain and
     market economy it can never be branded a blind-                    France—besides the USA went for such
     run to capitalism. Since the economy was more                      moves.21 India never ventured into any
     like the state economy in the former years, it has                 such privatisation move.
     to go for a greater degree of mix of the market. But       (ii) The sense in which privatisation has been
     in the long run, Liberalism curtails the powers of                 used is the process of disinvestment all
     the Parliament.17                                                  over the world. This process includes
                                                                        selling of the shares of the state-
        PrIvatIsatIon                                                   owned enterprises to the private sector.
                                                                        Disinvestment is de-nationalisation of
     The decades of the 1980s and 1990s witnessed
                                                                        less than 100 per cent ownership transfer
     a ‘rolling back’ of the state by the governments,
                                                                        from the state to the private sector. If an
     especially in the USA and UK under the
                                                                        asset has been sold out by the government
     inspiration of the New Right priorities and                        to the tune of only 49 per cent the
     beliefs.18 The policies through which the ‘roll                    ownership remains with the state though
     back’ of the state was done included deregulation,                 it is considered privatisation. If the sale of
     privatisation and introduction of market reforms                   shares of the state-owned assets has been
     in public services. Privatisation at that time was                 to the tune of 51 per cent, the ownership
     used as a process under which the state assets were                is really transferred to the private sector
     transferred to the private sector.19 The root of the               even then it is termed as privatisation.
     term privatisation goes to this period which got          (iii) The third and the last sense in which
     more and more currency around the world once                       the term privatisation has been used
     the East European nations and later the developing                 around the world, is very wide. Basically,
     democratic nations went for it. But during the                     all the economic policies which directly
     period several connotations and meanings of the                    or indirectly seem to promote the
     term ‘privatisation’ have developed. We may see                    expansion of the private sector or the
     them as follows:                                                   market (economy) have been termed
                                                                        by experts and the governments as the
       17.   J.K. Galbraith, A History of Economics, (London:
             Penguin Books,), p. 123, 1780.                   20.    Collins, Oxford, Penguin, Dictionary of Economics,
       18.    Andrew Heywood, Politics, p. 100.                      relevent pages.
       19.    Stiglitz and Walsh, Economics, pp. 802–3.       21.     Samuelson and Nordhaus, Economics, p. 199.