BJP, Left oppose increase in limits; to raise issue in Parliament

With an eye on the elections, the Congress has started trumpeting the increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in the last nine years. According to the party, the recent decision to ease FDI norms in key sectors was “important”, as the economy was going through a crisis.

Comparing FDI inflows under the erstwhile National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime, the ruling party said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government ha done a better job of improving confidence among investors.

Party spokesperson Raj Babbar said total FDI inflows during the first four years of the NDA regime stood at $19.2 billion. “Compared with this, the nine years of the UPA regime saw total FDI inflows of $272 billion, which is 619 per cent more than under NDA rule,” Babbar claimed.

The ruling party was apparently trying to steer clear of the Opposition’s allegations that there was a “policy paralysis” in the country. By bringing out the Food Security Ordinance, the Congress is trying its best to counter the Opposition’s arguments that the Centre has stopped functioning.

Babbar, who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary standing committee on defence, said the Centre had ensured that adequate safeguards were in place while allowing FDI in defence. He said there was no difference of opinion between Defence Minister A.K. Antony and the Government on the issue.

Opposition unhappy

The Bharatiya Janata Party said it would object to increasing the FDI cap in insurance and defence. The party alleged that the Government showed undue haste in announcing higher FDI as the schedule of the Monsoon session of Parliament had been announced.

The CPI(M) said the Government is out to mortgage the economy to foreign capital. The party said it would oppose the plans to raise the FDI cap in insurance in Parliament.

(This article was published on July 17, 2013)
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