RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagaran Manch opposes FDI in Air India

New Delhi, Jan 11: The RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagaran Manch today strongly opposed the Centre’s decision to allow 100 per cent FDI under automatic route for single-brand retail and foreign investment up to 49 percent in Air India, saying these decisions are not in “interest of the country”.

The Union Cabinet meeting, held yesterday, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail and construction development under the automatic route.

It also permitted foreign airlines to invest up to 49 percent under the approval route in the debt-ridden, loss-making national carrier.

Expressing strong resentment on the government’s decisions of easing FDI investments, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said, the organization, “firmly believes that easing the norms for FDI in SBRT would go against the best interest of the country.”

He further said that the more worrisome is the decision to set off the condition of mandatory sourcing requirement of 30 percent of purchases from India, for five years after the opening of the first store by the foreign company.

“As a result of this decision foreign companies would get free of procuring the products from anywhere in the globe.

This would go against the interests of the domestic manufacturing and also would discourage the future investment in manufacturing in India,” he added.

It would go against the government’s own policy of encouraging ‘Make in India’, he said, adding the SJM calls upon the governments to revisit this decision and do not tinker with the 30 percent mandatory procurement by MNCs from within the country.

Opposing the disinvestment of Air India, Mahajan said the finances of the national airline are in deep trouble, but allowing foreign investment is not the best of the solutions for ending its troubles.

There is a huge amount of resources of Air India lying idle, which could easily be monetized to take the national carrier out of the blues, he added.

Under the circumstances, it would be prudent to honor the report of the parliamentary committee, which has recently recommended against the disinvestment in Air India and has recommended for holding back this decision, for the time being, he added.