Friday, September 14, 2012

Disinvestment in India
Trends, Problems and Prospects
Rev. Fr. Dr. J. Felix Raj, SJ

The book, Disinvestment in India: Trends, Problems and Prospects focuses on economic reforms and resulting disinvestment of public sector enterprises (PSE) in India. The book quite lucidly analyses the pre and post disinvestment performance of the PSEs in terms of efficiency analysis and many other indicators of the enterprises with the help of case studies for two different PSEs chosen on the basis of their pre disinvestment profitability status, viz, Disinvestment of a profit making PSE – Bharat Aluminum Company Ltd. (BALCO) & Disinvestment of loss making PSE - Lagan Jute Machinery Co. Ltd (LJML).

Starting from the conceptual framework of Development through the Public Sector enterprises from a historical point of view the book enlightens on to the LPG model implemented in nineties. Before coming to the Indian scenario of disinvestment in reality, literatures on disinvestment in context to foreign countries has been discussed so as to make a comparative analysis in regard to policy taken in domestic and foreign countries for disinvestment.  Implementation of LPG model being the break point from the India’s economical point of view, the author has made his discussion into two subsections – Pre Liberalization growth of PSEs and related development & Post Disinvestment status and current policies of the Government regarding disinvestment.

However the crunch of the book lies in the discussion of the two disinvested PSEs as case studies. This part of the book tries to address the yearlong controversy on the disinvestment decision of BALCO. As known to all of us that this company was disinvested while it was running in profit, considering this as a case of disinvestment of a profit making enterprise, the comparison has been made with a case of disinvestment of a loss making enterprise. Thereby, the study tries to identify the various reasons of disinvestment of these two companies from the view point of analyzing the causes of disinvestment in general. A followed discussion has also been made to assess the post disinvestment social-economic-demographic scenario of the disinvestment decision.

The most important aspect of the book is to take into consideration the effects of disinvestment of public sector enterprises in the various spheres of the economy, viz. employment, income, poverty, etc.

Using a strategic model to measure the Pre & Post operative efficiency of the disinvested companies and also by using various tabulated analysis, in conclusion the author prescribed certain policies on future disinvestment strategy and suggested disinvestment of the loss making but not of profit making enterprises as the supreme priority.

Rev. Fr. Dr. J. Felix Raj, SJ, is the Principal and Former Rector of St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), He received Ph.D degree in Economics from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. He is currently the Vice-President, Bengal Economic Association (Bangiya Arthaniti Parishad). He represented this Association in the council meeting of the International Economic Association (of which Bengal Economic Association is an Associate Member) in 2005 at Marakech, Morrocco.

Dr. Felix Raj is an well known writer and has presented papers in many national and international conferences.  Fr. Felix Raj has lectured in many universities in Europe, USA and Canada.

Fr. Felix Raj is an educationist, associated with a number of NGOs and engaged in many philanthropic activities. Parivartan and Snegam, NGOs engaged in social and educational activities are his brainchildren. His initiative, “College to Village and Village to College” at St. Xavier’s College is a novel effort in education.

He is the Director, The Goethals Indian Library and Research Society and The West Bengal State Advisor to All Indian Catholic University Federation. He is also the Secretary of the Jesuit Economic Association.

He is the recipient of (i) Mother Teresa Millennium Award in 2006, (ii) First CAB Community Development Award 2008, (iii) Mahdeolal Saraogi Award 2008, (iv) Lifetime Achievement Award by Core Sector Communique in 2011.

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