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.
There were strong protests from the opposition against the arbitrary report on 2G Scam presented in Parliament by the Chairman of the JPC on Shri P.C.Chacko. Almost all the opposition party members in the Committee has opposed the report, which completely put the responsibility on Former Minister A.raja. The demand of the opposition to examine Prime Minister and Finance Minister who were also part of the decision making in the matter was rejected by the Chairman. Even the demand for examining A.Raja, who himself volunteered for examination, was rejected by the Chairman, well knowing that such an examination will certainly involve the PM and FM.
In rejecting the opposition party members in the JAC, the Chairman had violated rules as also conventions. The report is only a cover up according to the opposition members.
Although the demand of the opposition not to allow presentation of the one-sided report was rejected by the Speaker, it is sure that a discussion on the report will bring fire and thunder. The government is sure to be exposed.
Not only the Airport Authority Employees Unions, Central Trade Unions etc. are opposing the unchecked privatisation process of the government of India; the International Transport Association has also severely criticised the undue privatisation process of Airports in India.
The government has already privatised the biggest airports in India, namely New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, but also is planning to privatise other six profit making airports like Kolkata, Chennai etc. The ITA has pointed out that even at International level, only about 9% airports have been privatised even in capitalist countries, they why the hurry and aggressive privatisation in India despite strong public protest.
Is it that Indian government is more capitalistic than the capitalist countries?
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is thinking in terms of allowing partial withdrawal to the subscriber from the National Pension Scheme (NPS), even before maturity. At present as per the PFRDA Ordinance, no withdrawal is allowed before maturity ie. before reaching the age of 60 years. The Parliamentary Standing Committee had earlier recommended that withdrawal should be allowed even before maturity. The NPS is reported to have about 53 lakh subscribers and a corpus of about Rs. 35,000 crore.
While the PFRDA under the Ministry of Finance is for shifting the subscribers of EPFO to the NPS, the Labour Ministry which operates the EPF is against the same. However, the Finance Ministry headed by P.Chidambaram is putting pressure, so that EPF corpus of lakhs of crores of rupees can be made available to the Fund Managers of NPS to be utilised for business purposes. The argument of the PFRDA is that while there is assured returns for EPF subscribers, the returns from the NPS is more. This is only a fallacy. The returns from NPS is volatile and it can be reduced also. It depends upon the market. The hard earned savings of the workers can not be put at the mercy of the corporates and the business sharks. Though the present Fund Managers are mainly PSUs like LIC and SBI, there is every chance that the private insurers, Mutual Funds etc. may gain access in future to the Fund. Then it will, no doubt be, a disaster. Hence the workers are completely against putting the Funds of EPF at NPS. This proposal is not acceptable to the workers. It has got to be resisted and defeated.
The decision of the government to increase the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in telecom is nothing short of inviting serious risks to national security. The Forum of BSNL Unions / Associations strongly protests against the move and will meet today to discuss the issue and plan agitational programmes.
Already 74% FDI is allowed in the telecom sector. This has resulted in majority influence of foreign MNCs in some of the private telecom companies. The case of Vodafone is well-known. Neither they agree to the restrictions of the government of India on many occasions, but they are also openly violating the regulatory conditions. They refuse to pay due income-tax levied on them. If 100% FDI is allowed as decided now, many of the Indian private companies will be taken over by the Foreign MNCs with disastrous result for India. The snooping by the US Intelligence Agency through the mobile companies are well exposed and known to all. Under such circumstances any increase in the FDI and giving a free hand to foreign companies in the telecom sector, which is the second line of defence, will be suicidal.
The increase in FDI will seriously and adversely affect the growth of BSNL. Pumping of huge money to the private telcos and lack of funds for the PSUS, BSNL and MTNL, will lead to the marginalisation of the latter. This in turn will be utilised by the private companies to increase the rates for calls and other telecom services on a large-scale and the customers will have to pay more.
The Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations expresses its strong protest and demands the government to desist from the move to increase the FDI to 100%, failing which the unions in BSNL will be compelled to resort to agitations programmes.
The Telecom Commission on 2nd June 2013 has taken the drastic and dangerous decision of increasing the FDI in Telecom to 100% from the present 74%. MNCs and the India private telecom companies have been continuously pressurising the government for such a decision. Even with 74%, the control will go to the foreign shares and now any Indian companies can be fully owned by the foreign companies.
Not only this is going to be a serious security concern, but also may adversely affect the Indian companies who will be compelled to adopt for FDI to face competition. It will adversely affect the growth of the two telecom PSUs, BSNL and MTNL. What happened to the other countries who depended upon full FDI is to be studied further.
The Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations have to take up the matter seriously with the government and demand not to increase the already high FDI in telecom sector.