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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

FDI will jeopardise pensioners' future: Mamata

IANS  Kolkata, October 07, 2012
First Published: 19:54 IST(7/10/2012) | Last Updated: 19:56 IST(7/10/2012)

Firing a fresh salvo at the Congress-led UPA government over foreign direct investment (FDI) in pensions, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday accused it of pushing the future of pensioners in India towards uncertainty.

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The Trinamool Congress supremo, who broke ties with the Congress party and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) over a slew of economic measures, said that during 2008-09 economic slowdown in the US, the savings of pensioners were lost in that country when the stock market crashed.

Banerjee, while highlighting the "ill affects" of allowing FDI in pension funds cited an example of an Indian residing in the US who lost 50% of his savings which he had invested in pension funds as a result of 2008-09 economic slowdown.

"I want to relate to you a tragic experience of an Indian working in a wellknown IT company in California, which explains the real life impact of allowing FDI in pensions," Banerjee posted on Facebook.

 "He lost 50% of his entire savings. He was left high and dry without compensation and an uncertain future," she said.

"This is not just a stray case, but one among millions of sufferers in the US where pension funds are invested in stock markets. This is what is being attempted by UPA-II," she said.

Pension funds were a part of much celebrated 401k scheme (a type of retirement savings account in the US). It was operated by a well reputed mutual fund company listed on the US stock exchange.

"Do you want this to happen to you and fellow countrymen...? With the introduction of FDI, the future of pensioners will crash. Let us be united and oppose this move," she wrote.

Since her party's withdrawal of support to the UPA government, Banerjee has never lost any opportunity to criticise it and has been vociferous in her attacks against the economic reforms initiated by it.

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