Don't go ahead on FDI norms: Left to Centre

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New Delhi Jan 31: The Left parties today took strong exception to the Cabinet's decision to liberalise FDI norms in various crucial sectors and urged the UPA government to refrain from going ahead with the policy move saying it would prove ''disastrous'' for India's economy.

They argued that the liberalisation of commodity exchanges was not in the interest of maintaining price stability in the country. Emphasising that the FDI should not be allowed in the sectors that can be financed by local resources, they said it was another way to privatise the key sectors like oil and civil aviation.

While the CPI(M) Polit Bureau maintained that the FDI review undertaken by the Cabinet did not reflect the CMP commitment to encourage FDI in infrastructure, high technology and exports, CPI leaders A B Bardhan and Shamim Faizi deplored that the government had chosen to tread on the ''disastrous path'' rather than taking the mid-course correctives.

A CPI(M) Polit Bureau statement said the government's policy move on raising the foreign equity from 26 to 49 per cent in petroleum and refining PSUs would pave the way for further disinvestment in the PSUs.

''The decision to allow FDI up to 49 per cent in commodity exchanges was also unwarranted. The government has defied the recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee which categorically opposed such a provision,'' the CPI(M) said.

Allowing 100 per cent FDI in titanium mining is another retrograde move. Rather than strengthening the public sector in the extraction of exhaustible minerals, the government seemed to be keen on privatisation and opening up of the mining sector, it said, adding that further liberalisation of FDI norms in cargo airlines as well as ground-handling operations also needed to be reviewed from the security aspect.

The CPI leaders said the government, in place of containing price rise, which had upset the budget of the middle class, had rather chosen not to learn any lesson from the unbridled liberalised economic policies.

Besides, the decision on commodity exchanges would turn the country into a dumping ground, they added.

UNI

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