Raising FDI in defence ‘will harm national security’: A K Antony

The country meets a substantial part of its defence requirements by buying directly from foreign players.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: July 10, 2014 7:12 pm
A K Antony. Former Defence Minister A K Antony.

Attacking the NDA government for raising the FDI limit to 49 per cent in the defence sector, former Defence Minister AK Antony on Thursday said that previous governments had overcome the “pressure tactics” of “lobbies” working for 100 per cent FDI in the key area.

“I know a very strong lobby is working. Their demand is 100 per cent FDI in defence. Successive governments since 1991 have overcome such pressure tactics. Their decision not to grant FDI beyond 26 per cent in the defence sector was well thought out,” said the senior Congress leader.

As part of the previous UPA government, Antony shot down several proposals from the Commerce Ministry to raise the FDI limit and stuck to the stand of allowing only up to 26 per cent foreign investment in the military-industrial sector.

Coming down heavily on the Narendra Modi government, Antony said that “the proposal to increase FDI from 26 per cent to 49 per cent in defence production will harm our national security”.

While presenting Union Budget 2014-15, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that India is the largest buyer of defence equipment in the world and its domestic manufacturing capacities were still at a nascent stage. The country meets a substantial part of its defence requirements by buying directly from foreign players.

Antony said that with this decision, gradually all the defence manufacturing companies in India will come under the control of foreign multi-national companies, which are in turn controlled by the big powers.

“Hitherto, India was following an independent foreign policy and strategic independence and we scrupulously avoided joining any of the military blocks even though we are friendly with almost all the important countries.

“We have always taken special care to see that we are not aligning with any military block,” he added.

Antony said that the increased FDI limit would allow foreign powers to interfere indirectly in Indian joint venture defence partnership programmes with powerful countries.

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  1. W
    wneap
    Jul 12, 2014 at 10:20 am
    BJP and especially Vajpayee had praised Manmohan's budget plan in 91.
    Reply
  2. W
    wneap
    Jul 12, 2014 at 6:25 am
    BJP and especially, A B Vajpavee did in 1991 on Congress budget by Manmohan Singh (bit . ly/1rfLcdv)
    Reply
  3. W
    wneap
    Jul 12, 2014 at 6:26 am
    BJP and especially, A B Vajpayee did in 1991 on Congress budget by Manmohan Singh (bit(dot)ly/1rfLcdv)
    Reply
  4. W
    wneap
    Jul 12, 2014 at 1:07 pm
    BJP, especially Vajpayee, had praised Manmohan's budget plan in 91.
    Reply
  5. A
    Ashwinee
    Jul 11, 2014 at 7:27 am
    The management of the joint venture will be under the control of Indian companies. There doesn't seem any harm to national security. India is anyway importing substantial part of its arms and equipment from foreign countries. With increasing the FDI cap it can now produce its own arms with foreign istance. This step of Modi government is commendable.
    Reply
  6. M
    Mohan
    Jul 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm
    If India has about 2 crore illegal Bangladeshi's floating in the country what national security do we have, Mr Anthony ?
    Reply
  7. P
    pb
    Jul 10, 2014 at 5:32 pm
    It is better to build things than getting junk from Russia
    Reply
  8. S
    Sudheer Thaakur
    Jul 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm
    Manish Tiwari says UPA2 had even more liberal FDI in defence sector. Between him and Anthony who is speaking the truth and for Congress.
    Reply
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