The Modi government’s move to ease the FDI norms, especially allowing 100% FDI in Defense and Aviation sectors, has opened floodgates of criticism. Not just the opposition, even RSS affiliates have denounced the move. The central government had on Monday decided to relax FDI norms in a host of sectors including civil aviation, single-brand retail, defence and pharma.
Reacting sharply to the changes in the FDI policy, the principal opposition party demanded its withdrawal alleging it posed a “big threat” to national security and India’s independent foreign policy.
“Allowing 100 per cent FDI in defence sector means India’s defence sector is thrown mostly into the hands of NATO-American defence manufacturers,” senior Congress leader and former Union Defence Minister AK Antony said in a strongly-worded statement.
Antony further claimed that it resembles like India has become a “security partner of America”, stressed that Modi government’s move has come immediately after Prime Minister’s US visit.
“Naturally it will affect the India’s independent foreign policy too. It will also threaten the national security. Moreover, it will have an adverse impact on the ongoing indigenous defence research activities in the country,” he said.
“This is not in the interest of India and raises serious questions concerning both our internal security and our sovereignty. As a consequence of the Indo-US strategic partnership, the Modi Government has now announced across the board greater access to FDI,” the CPI(M) said in a statement.
Criticising further, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the decision has been taken without any public discussion and it goes against the ruling BJP’s own long-standing positions on the issue.
“They are giving an opportunity for foreign investors to make profits from here. The country is not going to benefit…the dangerous part is FDI in defence It is a matter of country’s security. Permission is not given for FDI in defence because of the security aspect of a country,” he said.
Another party, which represents non-Congress, non-BJP bloc – the Trinamool Congress – opposed the FDI too.
“This (FDI reforms) will have a negative effect on employment, the economy and the Indian market as a whole. In the name of ‘Make in India’, they are breaking India,” TMC chief national spokesperson Derek O’Brien said in a statement on Monday.
Joining the opposition parties, an RSS affiliate — Swadeshi Jagran Manch – strongly slammed the BJP-led NDA government, terming the move to relax FDI norm a “betrayal” of people’s trust.
The organisation, which has been criticising some economic policies of the Modi government, said the FDI reforms is not aimed at job creation.
“It is aimed at snatching away jobs from Indian people. It will spell a death knell for local businessmen… Opening sectors like retail, defence and pharma to FDI and by relaxing norms is ‘betrayal’ of people of the country,” Swadeshi Jagran Manch national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan told the news agency.
(With inputs from the PTI)