Opposition criticises Centre’s FDI move

New Delhi: The Opposition on Wednesday denounced the Union Cabinet’s decision allowing 100% foreign investment in single-brand retail and opening up Air India too for foreign investment.

Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala alleged that by doing away with the requirement of 30% sourcing through ‘Make in India’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had exposed his “duplicity and doublespeak” on the issue.

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said that 100% FDI in single-brand retail was notified during the previous UPA government and the only change made was to allow it through the automatic route.

“The Prime Minister talks of ‘Make in India’, but now says local sourcing is not required,” Mr. Sharma said, and asked the government to clarify its policy on multi-brand retail.

At the party briefing, Congress spokesperson R.P.N. Singh said when the BJP was in the Opposition, it had opposed the UPA government’s decision.

The CPI(M) said that the new policy for retail trade would have “harmful consequences for domestic retail traders and shopkeepers”.

The Opposition also criticised government for opening Air India to foreign investments. “This is a departure from policy. Foreign carriers cannot be allowed to take over the national carrier. You can allow equity participation. Clearly the government does not want to infuse funds,” Mr. Sharma said.

He said when the Congress-led UPA government introduced FDI in airlines, they were careful to keep the national carrier out of it. “We had allowed 49% in private airlines ... On our part it was a cautious decision to keep our national carrier Air India out... What happens to the assets worth crores belonging to Air India?” Mr. Sharma asked.

The CPI(M) too criticised the decision. “Having taken the decision to privatise Air India, the Modi government is now moving towards handing over Air India to a foreign airline,” party politburo statement said.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 9:43:55 am |