The planned privatisation of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) will establish Narendra Modi as India’s most reformist Prime Minister. Thus far, only Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee were given due recognition as reformers – the former for ending the licence-permit raj in 1991, and the latter for beginning the process of privatisation of public sector behemoths.
Modi has actually done more reforms than any previous prime minister – especially reforms not prompted by economic crisis – but the lack of genuine privatisation under his watch has been seen as an unwillingness to let go of the belief that the public sector is somehow the crown jewels. Now, Modi has himself busted this myth.
In 2003, the Supreme Court blocked Vajpayee’s privatisation moves on the ground that companies nationalised through an act of Parliament cannot be privatised without repealing those acts. Read More
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