Our Bureau

New Delhi, Oct. 21

THE Left parties on Friday said that they would take the Government to task for hiking telecom FDI cap ignoring their concerns about the country's security.

The Left parties resolved to step up their opposition both inside and outside Parliament against the decision to increase the FDI cap from 49 per cent to 74 per cent in the telecom sector.

They will also raise the issue in the UPA-Left Co-ordination Committee meeting, which is likely to be held here on October 27.

The CPI General Secretary, Mr A.B. Bardhan, said it was unfortunate that the Government had taken this decision after months of discussions.

"We had expressed our opposition and submitted all our objections in writing to the Government. The Left argued that no other large country allowed FDI to this extent in the telecom sector as it involved security risks and damage to the telecom sector itself," Mr Bardhan said.

The CPI(M) Rajya Sabha Member, Mr Dipankar Mukherhee, said that the Left will continue to protest the Government decision, which had been taken despite their stout opposition.

Stating that the Left had also submitted alternative suggestions to attract funds, Mr Mukherjee said the Government had taken a decision, which could threaten the country's security. RSP leaders objected to the move, saying the Government had reduced the consultation process to a farce.

The Government said that it had put enough safeguards to protect national security. Some of the measures taken include making it mandatory to have Indian citizens in majority on the board of any company having 74 per cent FDI.

It is also mandatory that Indian citizens should hold key posts like that of chief technical officer and chief financial officer.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 22, 2005)
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