The ruling Trinamool Congress as well as the opposition parties in West Bengal Thursday slammed the Narendra Modi government for approving 100 per cent FDI in the railways and 49 per cent in the defence sector. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool president, said the FDI in defence “will put a question mark” on the safety and security of the nation.
“Increasing FDI cap from 26 per cent upto 49 in the defence sector will put a big question mark on safety and security of the nation,” Mamata said in a post on her official Facebook page.
Mamata, a former railway minister, also slammed the NDA government for fully opening the railway infrastructure segment for foreign direct investment. “When successive governments have been consciously avoiding FDI in railways sector for strategic and security reasons, the central government has, for the first time, now allowed upto 100 per cent FDI in railways. I do not know what will be the fate and future of this country,” she said.
The opposition Congress party came out in support of Mamata. State Congress president and Berhampore MP Adhir Ranjan Chaudhury said, “They (Modi government) think that FDI is the only panacea to all our economic ills, But it is wrong. It was the Congress that brought 26 per cent FDI in defence, but we never wanted India to become an arms exporting country.
Indianisation of arms manufacturing is welcome to some extent but entry of foreign countries in this sector has to be restricted. Similarly, in railways, if FDI is used for building infrastructure it is fine, but there are some areas like operations that should be free (from FDI),” Chaudhury, a former minister of state for railways, told The Indian Express.
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CPI-M MP Mohammad Selim too criticised the NDA government. “While (the FDI) in defence will kill indigenous skills, in railways it is a ploy to allow foreign companies to use our land and resources,” Selim said.