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Updated: September 21, 2012 01:40 IST

Unfazed, government moves ahead on FDI

    Smita Gupta
    B. Muralidhar Reddy
Comment (7)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Unfazed by the day-long Opposition-sponsored bandh, the UPA government on Thursday notified the guidelines for FDI in retail, civil aviation and broadcasting. Here, passengers search for taxi at Howrah bridge in Kolkata on Thursday. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish
The Hindu
Unfazed by the day-long Opposition-sponsored bandh, the UPA government on Thursday notified the guidelines for FDI in retail, civil aviation and broadcasting. Here, passengers search for taxi at Howrah bridge in Kolkata on Thursday. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

BJP has no plans to move no-confidence motion

Unfazed by the day-long Opposition-sponsored bandh to protest against its economic decisions, and hours ahead of the Trinamool Congress’ imminent exit, a determined UPA government on Thursday notified the guidelines for FDI in retail, civil aviation and broadcasting, reinforcing the message it has been sending out for a week: it means business.

Sensing, however, that there is need for an authoritative explanation of the government’s actions, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to address the nation on Friday, official sources said, on why his administration was compelled to announce the economic decisions that saw its ally, the Trinamool, walk out of the UPA.

But the imminent loss of the Trinamool’s 19 MPs did not appear to ruffle the government. “We had enough friends yesterday, we have enough friends today. So, I don’t think you should doubt our stability,” Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told journalists here. Reinforcing this view, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni stressed, “We have the support of over 300 MPs who realise that these are difficult times and know that hard decisions need to be taken.” There are also indications that once the government puts the Trinamool episode behind it, the Prime Minister can proceed with the Cabinet reshuffle.

The mood at the Congress headquarters, on Thursday evening, was relaxed and mellow, with party functionaries similarly confident that the government was not under any threat. In sharp contrast, the BJP sounded sombre — and detached.

At a press conference, BJP president Nitin Gadkari was at pains to stress that the party had no intention of either moving a no-confidence motion against the Manmohan Singh government or doing anything to destabilise it, while parrying any comment on the Trinamool. “It’s not the Opposition’s job to make this government fall,” he said. “The government may fall because of its own deeds, in natural course. We’ll not be responsible for it. We don’t want to do anything to make this government fall.”

Meanwhile, Union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar made an embarrassing revelation: he told PTI that at the UPA Coordination Committee’s first meeting, Dr. Singh had flagged FDI in retail, a hike in diesel price, and a cap on subsidised LPG cylinders. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, he said, was present and promised the Prime Minister she would meet him later to give her views on the three issues. Mr. Pawar’s statement contradicts Ms. Banerjee’s complaint that she was kept in the dark by the Centre on these issues before it took the controversial decisions.

Priscilla Jebaraj adds:

Hike in FI cap for broadcasting services notified

The government has notified its decision to hike the foreign investment cap for modernising cable networks, Direct to Home (DTH) and mobile television service providers to 74 per cent. The move will allow global players to acquire majority stakes in all broadcast carriage companies. Earlier, DTH and multi-system cable operators were only eligible for 49-per-cent foreign investment.

As decided by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs last week, broadcast content companies, such as TV news channels and FM radio channels will continue to have a foreign investment cap of 26 per cent, keeping majority control in the hands of the Indian partner.

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FDI in any industry is bad to local economy. Every country should
learn to survive in their own local economy and improve within their
own means. Keep in mind, foreign investors don't come for charity,
their main goal is to maximize their shareholders profits. Why should
they care for India's infrastructure and why will they not take profits
back home? That is the whole purpose of their investment. It is
another form of invasion.

from:  Prasad
Posted on: Sep 22, 2012 at 00:55 IST

The government will get more support if all the new measures were coupled with corruption fighting measures. The government should join hands with Mr. Anna Hazare. Of course this would reduce the currption money for all the politicians and bureaucrats, but that is the price to be paid in the situation we are in now.

from:  Kailash Mathur
Posted on: Sep 22, 2012 at 00:44 IST

It is very naive to think that allowing MNCs will sort out all our problems.Our most compelling problems are Malnutrition, Hunger, diesease, pathetic health service, limited education.But according to this govt what is most pressing is allowing private companies to take more and more share of wealth and responsibilities from it.Gone are the days of setting new towns like Bhilai, Rourkela which came onto Indian map because of Govt efforts.How many new cities have been created by these private companies? All they need is cheap land from Govt in already crowded metros to make money.Already we are watching private domination of Education and health sectors with increasing quality of benefit to rich and reduced or no benefit to poors (for whose service sake they got those lands in cheap).As famous ecnomist Galbraith said -"It is wealth privatisation and loss nationalisation" happening everywhere.Time to ask Govt to play its role without passing the buck(literally too) to private players.

from:  Chandan Ray
Posted on: Sep 21, 2012 at 17:19 IST

I really appreciate and finally feel proud of this government that it didnt bend to the whims and fancies of a political drama. This strong decision is much needed and looking forward to the speech by the PM.

from:  shobana
Posted on: Sep 21, 2012 at 14:31 IST

The Govt. has shown the courage and resolve which was so dearly required at this hour. The results are there to be seen.....BJP,after yesterday's rhetoric,has gone silent(full of sound and fury signifying nothing),SP has reconciled to its wait of 2014,Market has a vibrant jump,and new ideas of alliances and combinations have begun to mushroom.One piece of advice to Congress....please, for heaven's and your own sake,choose your spokepersons with greater care as experience shows that quite a few of them have provev themselves to be counter productive. Incidentally, Anand Sharma did a great job yesterday when he faced NDTV and Headlines Today. So be firm, move ahead with conviction and grit. It is great to learn that PM shall be speaking to the Nation tonight. It is the step in the right direction.We look forward to it with great hope and interest.

from:  B.S.Rawat
Posted on: Sep 21, 2012 at 13:06 IST

Wal Mart is the worst retailer in terms of human rights friendly or small stores like mom & pop stores friendly and will drive them out of business. That is their sole aim in getting into Indian retail market, so the government must keep them out of Indian retail opportunity. Let Wal Mart do their inhuman way of doing business elsewhere on this earth but NOT on Indian soil.

from:  Krish
Posted on: Sep 21, 2012 at 02:57 IST

I happy we have atleast 19 sensible MPs.

And I don't understand how an earth an FDI which don't understand the cultural, social, economic needs of a commoner will do any good to us.

If the government is not capable enough to actively route its supplies, I don't think an FDI can do it.

from:  aparna natarajan
Posted on: Sep 21, 2012 at 02:47 IST
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