Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



V. V. Rananadham (ed) Privatization in Developing Countries.London: Routledge. 1989. Price: £ 40.00 (Hardbound Edition).

The post-World War II era has witnessed the establishment of public enterprises in many of the developing as well as developed countries. Primarily, there were the economic and social objectives behind the establishment of such enterprises. It was felt, particularly in the developing countries, that through the medium of public enterprises it was possible to control the “commanding heights” of the economy, such as heavy industry (iron and steel, power, fuels, etc.). It was perceived that such public control over the directly productive resources in the economy would lead to faster development. Socially, such enterprises were also expected to provide greater employment opportunities and thereby help in reducing the level of poverty in the developing countries. Some forty years on, it has become apparent that public enterprises, far from promoting development, were actually acting as a brake on it. One general criticism, among many others, leveled at such enterprises included the charge of economic inefficiency. Thus, to overcome this criticism, a new term, ‘privatization’ was coined in the early Eighties. The term may be defined in a broad sense as the transforming of the ownership of assets from public or government control to private hands.

Mir Annice Mahmood

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