New Delhi– The Narendra Modi government has crossed the Rubicon in forging close military cooperation ties with the US, the CPI-M has said.
“This is going to have serious repercussions for India’s sovereignty and independent strategic decision making capacity,” an editorial in the party journal “People’s Democracy” said.
Commenting on the sweeping liberalized norms for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), it said the Modi government was making desperate efforts to attract FDI by encouraging foreign capital to take over existing productive assets “and by compromising on vital sectors affecting national sovereignty like defence.
“These policies are going to have a ruinous effect on the people and the country,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist said.
India has announced 100 per cent FDI in the defence sector, retail food trade, civil aviation, cable networks, DTH and other telecom services.
Apart from this, 74 percent FDI through the automatic route would now be allowed to facilitate takeover of existing Indian pharmaceutical companies.
FDI in the private security agencies has been increased from 49 to 74 percent. The provision for local sourcing for single brand retail trading has also been relaxed.
“These measures should be seen as part of the aggressive push for neo-liberal policies combined with the imperatives of becoming a junior strategic partner of the US,” the CPI-M said.
It said that despite relaxing FDI norms in the defence sector two years ago, there had been no investment from foreign firms.
It said the real issue was not investment of funds but the technology to manufacture in India.
“No multinational arms company will part with their technology and they fear loss of control of such technology if they locate to India.
“Unless India becomes a total ally and trusted partner of the US like Israel, there will be no scope for any joint production and technological development.”
The CPI-M said India must stop being dependent on costly arms imports which have made the country the biggest arms importer in the world.
“This can be accomplished only by building self-reliance in advanced military technology and defence production capacities.
“If India can develop space and nuclear technology, there is no reason why it cannot do so in military technology.
“The latest change in FDI norms show India is now ready to settle for second best and not the `state-of-art’ technology in its desperate quest for foreign arms companies setting up enterprises in India.”