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Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004

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Left opposes Govt move to hike FDI

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Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet, General Secretary, CPI (M), along with Mr Prakash Karat and Mr Abani Ray at the Polit Bureau meeting in the Capital on Monday. -- Ramesh Sharma

New Delhi , July 19

THE Left parties on Monday again opposed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government's move to hike foreign direct investment (FDI) in the telecommunication, insurance and civil aviation sectors and said that they would vote against any Bill being brought in Parliament to hike the cap in insurance.

``Our stand on FDI is known and we have made it known to the UPA Government. The UPA cannot ignore the concerns of the Left as we think they are in the national interest. We hope the Government will reconsider the issue,'' the National Secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Mr D. Raja, said after a meeting of leaders of CPI (M), CPI, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP).

In response to a question, Mr Raja said that if the Government brings a Bill to amend the IRDA law then "we will vote against it."

Apart from the General Secretary of the CPI (M), Mr Harkishan Singh Surjeet, today's meeting was attended by Mr Prakash Karat, Mr Abani Roy of RSP and Mr Debabrata Biswas of the Forward Bloc. The meeting was held to chalk out their strategy in the wake of discussions held with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram.

The Left leaders also said that they had sought the setting up of a co-ordination committee between the Left parties and the UPA and had forwarded the names of six Left leaders to the UPA for finalisation of the panel.

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