Nationalization is the process of taking a private industry or private assets into public ownership by a national government or state. Nationalization usually refers to private assets, but may also mean assets owned by lower levels of government, such as municipalities, being transferred to the public sector to be operated and owned by the state. The opposite of nationalization is usually privatization or de-nationalization, but may also be municipalization. Industries that are usually subject to nationalization include transport, communications, energy, banking and natural resources.
Nationalization in the 1960s
Despite the provisions, control and regulations of the Reserve Bank of India, banks in India except the State Bank of India or SBI, continued to be owned and operated by private persons. By the 1960s, the Indian banking industry had become an important tool to facilitate the development of the Indian economy. At the same time, it had emerged as a large employer, and a debate had ensued about the nationalization of the banking industry. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, expressed the intention of the Government of India in the annual conference of the All India Congress Meeting in a paper entitled "Stray thoughts on Bank Nationalization." The meeting received the paper with enthusiasm.
Thereafter, her move was swift and sudden. The Government of India issued an ordinance ('Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Ordinance, 1969')) and nationalised the 14 largest commercial banks with effect from the midnight of 19 July 1969. These banks contained 85 percent of bank deposits in the country. Jayaprakash Narayan, a national leader of India, described the step as a "masterstroke of political sagacity." Within two weeks of the issue of the ordinance, the Parliament passed the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Bill, and it received the presidential approval on 9 August 1969....