The Central Trade Unions, CITU, BMS etc. have expressed their strong protest against the increase of FDI in the strategic sectors like Defence. Civil Aviation etc. making them completely under the control of the MNCs. The decision has to be withdrawn in the interest of the nation.
New Delhi, November 12: The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the announcement by the Prime Minister easing the regulations for Foreign Direct Investments in our country. 15 areas, including single brand retail, banking, construction, media, airlines, defence, banking, plantations etc., are to be opened up for approval under the automatic route. 32 new investment points will now allow FDI automatically. The cap for approval of foreign investments has been raised to Rs. 5,000 crore from the existing Rs. 3,000 crores. The increase in the FDI to 49 per cent for news channels and radio is particularly harmful as it will facilitate near complete control of the news media by foreign media monopolies.
All these decisions have been taken on the eve of the winter session of the Parliament. Worse they have been taken even without the Cabinet approval. This is a complete travesty of our system of parliamentary democracy. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) condemns such unilateral decisions by the PM.
Clearly, these announcements have come on the eve of Prime Minister Modi’s yet another programme of foreign tours to London, G-20, Malaysia and Singapore. PM Modi made these announcements with an aim to appease foreign capital. Thus both India’s markets and resources are being opened up further for the maximization of profits for foreign capital.
This license to loot comes at a time when the majority of the Indian people continue to groan under newer economic burdens. Price rise of essential commodities continues unabated. The agrarian distress is deepening. The increases in the minimum support prices are so meagre that they do not even cover the production costs. This is accelerating the distress suicides of our farmers.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) calls upon PM Modi and his government to focus attention on providing relief to the vast majority of our Indian people as promised during the 2014 election campaign.
Using its brute majority, the BJP government ensured that the the Lok Sabha to day passes the Insurance Bill amidst strong protests from the opposition benches. The bill passed will increase the FDI in Insurance sector from 26 % to 49%. Both the UPA as well as the NDA governments have been pushing for the increase of FDI in Insurance Sector for the last two decades, but could not succeed. The US and other imperialists have been putting much pressure on the Indian government to fully open the Insurance sector which is a very profitable sector.
The entire working class in the country is opposed to the increase of FDI in Insurance. In fact it will destroy the confidence of people in Insurance since the claims will be denied and delayed under private companies as happened earlier, before the Life and General Insurance was nationalised by taking over from the private companies.
We strongly oppose this anti-people decision of the government.
One of the major demands of the 11 Central Trade Unions, which they presented to the new Prime Minister and Labour Minister is “Stoppage of Disinvestment in Central/State PSUs.”
The Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh stated to the Central Trade Union Representatives that these demands are unexceptionable, but did not take any action to implement them. The new Labour Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar also heard the TU leaders with attention.
But what has happened. The Railways Minister Shri Sadananda Gowda has proposed in the Railways Budget to bring PPP and Privatisation in Railways. The Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley in his Budget Presentation has clearly stated that FDI will be increased from 26% to 49% in Insurance and Defence sector. It is also stated that the PSU Banks will be disinvested. Thus Disinvestment and Privatisation are going to be implemented in a big way, in an aggressive way.
This is the attitude of the NDA government to the working class. Naturally there will be stiff resistance from the workers and it will not be much delayed.
The proposal of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for 100% FDI has been opposed by Home ministry due to security reasons. It is of the opinion that there should not be FDI in highly sensitive parts of the railways. The sensitive parts includes passengers, luggages etc. are also.
CITU OPPOSES MOVE FOR
ALLOWING 100% FDI IN DEFENCE PRODUCTION
FOR DISINVESTMENT/PRIVATISATION OF PSUs
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) strongly opposes Modi government’s move, as reported by the media, for allowing 100% FDI in defence sector. Such move is totally detrimental to the interests of the indigenous defence production network, mainly under government departments and PSUs, and also to national security-management and preparedness. Such move would also directly provoke disinvestment/privatization of the Defence PSUs and Ordinance factories establishment via corporatization route which could so long be successfully resisted by the united trade union movement in the country as well as all the defence sector federations including those having allegiance with the political party in power.
The CITU also expresses its deep concern and strong opposition to the overzealous drive of the government to push through disinvestment of shares in highly profit-making PSUs, mostly in the strategic, infrastructure and natural resources sector of the economy. As reported by the press, the Government has reportedly taken up as their priority agenda for off-loading government’s residual stakes at aluminum major BALCO and also expediting disinvestment in other blue-chip PSUs already shortlisted by the disinvestment department of the previous Government.
CITU urges the Government to take serious note of the unanimous opposition of the working people of the country, who actually creates GDP for the country as well as resources for the national exchequer to such disastrous exercises of disinvestment and privatization and unrestricted FDI. Such opposition has been voiced through numerous agitations by the united platform of the entire trade union movement in the country irrespective of affiliations and political allegiances during last five years.
CITU demands of the Government to restrain itself from such moves which are detrimental to the interests of the people as well as of the national economy; and calls upon the trade unions and working people to unitedly voice their opposition and put up resistance to such disastrous moves.
The government is proposing to bring FDI in Railways in a big way. So far, no FDI has been allowed. At last, the privatisation process is going to start in the biggest industry/service in the country.
The MNCs and Indian big corporates have been pushing the government in a big way to allow them to enter the Railways.
The details will be known in a few days. FDI in railways is going to increase the fares, without any doubt.
The government wants to being FDI in pension and increase FDI in Insurance sectors. The European and US imperialists have been continuously pressurising the government of India for the same so that their MNCs who have got huge funds with them can invest and reap maximum profits. During the visit of Finance Minister P.Chidambaram and other ministers in US, they have assured the foreign investors that the government is seriously trying address the issues raised by them. And FDI in both the sectors are a priority for them.
It is reported that the main opposition, BJP, has agreed to reconsider their objection. This is only a matter of time.
The workers in Insurance sector have been continuously opposing FDI and had been successful so far, to a certain extend in containing FDI increase. The Central/State government employees and other workers have been stoutly opposing FDI in Pension. A big Parliament March was organised last year against PFRDA Bill. The PFRDA Ordinance is issued, but it will have to be passed in the Parliament.
There is no other way, but unitedly fight the menace of FDI with support of the people.
BSNL Employees all over India expressed their strong protest against the government decision to increase FDI in Telecom from 74% to 100% and in Defence from 26% to 49% (case to case basis in the latter), by wearing badges and organising lunch hour demonstration.
The decision of the UPA government to increase the FDI in these two sectors is full of security risk. Telecom is the second line of defence and naturally if 100% FDI is allowed, not only all the Indian companies will be taken over by the foreign MNCs, but the entire system of security will be under threat.
If the government continues with mortgaging the communications system to the MNCs, further struggle will erupt.
The proposal of the Commerce ministry to increase the FDI from 26% to 49% has been strongly opposed by the Home Ministry on the ground that there is serious security concerns. Well and Good! The Defence minister has opposed FDI in Defence stating that it is retrograde and have got security concerns. Again, well and good!
But what about the increase in Telecom from 74% to 100%. It was also recommended by the Commerce Ministry. Telecom sector is the second line of defence and any increase of FDI is also serious security concern. But where is Kapil Sibal, Communications Minister? Why he is not opposing the FDI increase as has been done by the Home Ministry and Defence ministry? Strange indeed! The Communications Ministry is not interested in security concerns?