DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Friday took exception to the Centre’s proposal to constitute a National Investment Board (NIB), stressing that the government should avoid taking hasty decisions in the name of economic reforms.

In a statement here, Mr Karunanidhi, who of late has been highly critical of the Centre’s reforms, including its approval for allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail sector, cited media reports to reiterate the point that there was no consensus even among the Union Ministers on constitution of the investment board.

Recalling Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan’s argument that NIB would upturn established procedures of government business, place corporate interests over those of citizens and violate environmental protection mandates imposed by the Supreme Court, he said Union Tribal Affairs Minister K.C. Deo had also expressed his opposition to the proposal.

The DMK leader quoted extensively from media reports, including the editorial of The Hindu, that the proposal would “strike at the root of democratic governance” and wanted the Centre to take into consideration the national interest and have a proper discussion on important issues. Mr Karunanidhi also struck a note of caution on FDI and recalled late Murasoli Maran’s warning that opening the floodgates for multinational corporations would lead to deindustrialisation in India and pave the way for neo-colonialism. “He made this warning twenty years ago, but it is still relevant today,” Mr Karunanidhi said. He described as condemnable Union Minister Veerappa Moily’s letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to stop release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu on account of paucity of adequate water in Karnataka.

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