Socialist means the system under which economic system is controlled and regulated by the government so as to ensure welfare and equal opportunity to the people in a society.
The word socialism means ‘all things to all men’. According to Samuelson, “Socialism refers to the government ownership of the means of production, planning by the government and income distribution”.
The main features of socialist economy are as follows:
(i) Collective Ownership: In socialism, all means of production are owned by the community, i.e., Government, and no individual can hold private property beyond certain limit. Therefore, it is government who utilises these resources in the interest of social welfare.
(ii) Economic, Social and Political Equality: Under socialism, there is almost equality between rich and poor. There is no problem of class struggle.
(iii) Economic Planning: Under socialism, government fixes certain objectives. In order to achieve these objectives, government adopts economic planning. All types of decisions regarding the central problems of an economy are taken in the economic plans. There is a Central Planning Authority, who plans for the economy.