Mamata opposes hiked FDI limit in telecom, defence

Kolkata, July 16 (IANS) Expressing deep anguish over the central government's decision to hike FDI limits in a host of areas including telecom, insurance and defence, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said the move will put the nation's security under grave danger.

"It is very unfortunate to see increase in FDI in Telecom, Defence and Insurance sectors amongst 13 different sectors. The increase of FDI in telecom to 100 percent has very serious security implications for the nation.

"The whole telecommunication platform will be controlled by foreign companies which owe their allegiance to their own countries and serve their own interests," Banerjee said on a social networking site.

"In today's world defence is heavily reliant on telecom system. By increasing FDI in defence, we are compromising safety and security of the nation. It is a myth that FDI hike will bring transfer of technology to Indian companies, as there is a 'Technology Denial' regime which does not permit developed world to transfer defence technology," said Banerjee.

She also accused the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government of putting in grave danger the lives of common people as well as the country's security through its economic policies.

"The lives of poor and common people who rely on insurance for their life and health, will be put to risk with increase in FDI in insurance sector. Foreign inflow of funds in financial institutional area in India is fraught with potential danger of global financial crisis," added Banerjee.

In a clear signal to global investors that economic reforms will be fast-tracked and norms for inflow of overseas capital eased further, India Tuesday decided to hike the foreign direct investment limits in a host of areas, notably telecom, insurance and defence.

The major executive decision was taken at a meeting specially convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss sectoral foreign investment caps and attended by most of the key economic ministers, Commerce Minster Anand Sharma told reporters here.

The decisions taken include hiking foreign direct investment limit in the insurance sector to 49 percent from the existing 26 percent and in the telecom sector to 100 percent from 74 percent.


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