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RSS offshoot opposes easing of FDI norms

The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has said that the move would hurt domestic manufacturing and go against campaigns such as Make in India.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2018 11:47 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
RSS,Swadeshi Jagran Manch,SJM
The SJM and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, both affiliated to the RSS, will meet in the first week of February to chart out an action plan to counter the government’s move.(AFP FILE PHOTO)

The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has opposed the NDA government’s decision allowing foreign investment up to 49% in Air India and the easing of norms for FDI and FIIs, claiming that it would hurt domestic manufacturing and go against campaigns such as Make in India.

The SJM and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, both affiliated to the RSS, will meet in the first week of February to chart out an action plan to counter the government’s move.

While the SJM has put its objections on record, BMS general secretary Vrijesh Upadhyay said the labour outfit of the Sangh will carry out an audit of the existing FDI investments to ascertain their outcome. “We would have preferred the government to remain the owner of the national carrier (Air India), but we will reserve our comment till after the audit,” Upadhyay said.

The SJM on the other hand has cautioned that domestic interests would be hurt by doing away with the clause that made it mandatory to source 30% of purchases from India for five years after the opening of the first store by a foreign company.

“... As a result of this decision, foreign companies would get the freedom to procure products from anywhere in the globe. This would go against the interests of the domestic manufacturing and also discourage future investment in manufacturing in India and therefore, would go against the own declared policy of the government of encouraging Make in India,” Ashwani Mahajan, national co-convenor of the SJM, said.

He said the current mood in the domestic manufacturing is far from encouraging, in the absence of new investment.

The SJM has also asked the government to revisit its decision to allow 49% foreign investment in Air India.

“We appreciate that the government wants to find a solution to the problems plaguing the national carrier, but FDI is not the solution. Monetising the assets and reducing debts would have been a better solution,” Mahajan said.

He went on to add that the government must “fix responsibility” for the problems that have surfaced at the airline and adhere to the report of the parliamentary committee, which has recommended holding off disinvestment.

First Published: Jan 12, 2018 11:47 IST