Independent Rajya Sabha member Narendra Jadhav withdrew his private member’s Foreign Investment in Financial Services, Critical Infrastructure and Technology Affecting National Security (Regulation) Bill, 2018 to regulate foreign investment coming into the country. He said he withdrew the Bill after assurances given by Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur.
Jadhav said, “(The) basic purpose was to drive home the point that we need to exercise extraordinary caution, even while welcoming FDI, and in the light of the assurances given by the minister, I withdraw my Bill.”
He said India needs more FDI to accelerate economic growth and to create jobs, but added, “Do we want FDI at the cost of national security? Most certainly not.” He compared the same to the curtailing of international travellers to India in light of the coronavirus outbreak, even though India would want foreign exchange from tourism. “That is precisely the point that I am making about FDI,” he said.
Jadhav’s Bill had earlier been discussed by various members, and many of them had supported it. One of the last participating members was BJP’s nominated member in Rajya Sabha, Subramanian Swamy, who said on Friday that it was a “very good suggestion to form a Committee on Foreign Direct Investment and National Security”.
Swamy said FDI in India “is not a very big proportion of the total investment” and is “below five per cent, and, therefore, it is not a matter which will have a big tragic effect or large effect on the total investment if any project is rejected because it does not meet certain strict criteria of national security”.
Talking about FDI he said in certain sectors like defence, “we have to make sure whether we want FDI or we want transfer of technology”.
Thakur, making a case for Jadhav to withdraw his Bill, said, “There is a due mechanism which is followed by the government… it would not be right to have a committee for this.”
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