Public enterprise, as a form of business organization gained economic importance in most of the countries of the world in recent years. During the twentieth century, various Governments started participating in industrial and commercial activities. Previously, the role of Government was limited only to the maintenance of law and order. Industrial revolution helped all-round growth of industries. Private entrepreneurs worked, only for the profit motive. The exploitation of consumers and workers by private entrepreneurs was very common. The development of industries was left to the judgement of private enterprises. Therefore, Government intervention became necessary to safeguard the interests of the public, even in developed countries like USA and UK.
The Government thus, can own and control industry and business in two ways:
· By starting a new unit
· By taking over an existing industrial or commercial unit owned by private persons.