Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opposing the government’s move to allow 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in private security agencies on the ground that it would have grave implications as such bodies are now involved in securing key institutions.In a statement here, Dr. Joshi said the government should not go ahead with the proposal without a proper debate in Parliament followed by vote. “The Private Security Agencies [Regulation] Act, 2005 clearly stipulates majority Indian ownership and control as a precondition for issue of licence to operate private security business in the country,” he said.
He contended that over 50 lakh private security personnel across the country are engaged in watch and ward function at thousands of establishments, including sites of strategic significance like CSIR labs, DRDO complexes, private ports, oil refineries, power projects, gas pipeline, airports, IITs, IIMs and even monuments like the Red Fort and Qutub Minar.
Dr. Joshi noted with disappointment that Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who was apprised of the repercussions of allowing 100 per cent FDI in security agencies when he was the Home Minister, has asked the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion to implement the Mayaram Committee recommendation for this change.
He said that since some of the foreign security agencies have also sought permission to use sophisticated weapons by their guards, it could pose a danger to internal security.
Dr. Joshi said cases of phone-tapping by private detective agencies, use of uniforms by them which closely resemble police uniform and involvement of some rogue elements in such organisations are a cause for concern.