RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch revolts against govt’s move to ease FDI norms

New Delhi(PTI): Raising a banner of revolt against the government for its decision to ease FDI norms in 15 key sectors, RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) today demanded that the move be put on hold even as it accused the Centre of haste in the matter. SJM also demanded a white paper detailing the benefits and drawbacks of FDI and said a commission comprising stakeholders should first be set up to examine the issue. It further added that government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative should be more of ‘Made by India’. “SJM believes that the present decision of the government to ease FDI norms for major sectors of the economy has been taken in a hurried manner and without going into the pros and cons of the decision.

“SJM demands that these decisions be put on hold and a commission is constituted taking all stakeholders on board while instituting a comprehensive study to estimate loss to the economy,” Ashwani Mahajan, All India Co-Convener of the Manch, said. “It is painful to see that the present government continues to follow the policy of previous UPA government in this regard. “SJM reiterates its demand for a white paper and urges the government to share the factual position with the people of India instead of repeating mere claims and intention,” he said. The opposition from SJM comes three days after another RSS affiliate, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, warned the government of mass agitations if the FDI decision was not immediately rolled back.

SJM said it was “in deep anguish over the central government’s decision to ease FDI norms in almost all major sectors of the economy, including defence, plantation, broadcasting, single brand e-commerce, banking, construction, limited liabilities partnership, duty free shops, etc”. Arguing that the government has been advocating liberal FDI regime under its plans to revive manufacturing sector in the country in the name and style of Make-in-India slogan, the Manch said, “Government’s endeavour towards Make-in-India should be more of Made-by-India.”

Mahajan said it was an established fact supported by empirical data that FDI is not a panacea for all ills. “It is not a solution for all problems. FDI has done more bad than good to the economy. There have been more outflows of royalty, interest, dividend, profits, salaries, etc., than inflows of FDI. In 2014-15 alone, while there has been FDI inflow of USD 31 billion, there has been an outflow of USD 36.5 billion,” he said. SJM also contested the government’s argument that FDI would bring growth and create employment in the country. “Government has been advocating liberal FDI regime under its plans to revive manufacturing sector in the country in the name and style of Make-in-India slogan,” Mahajan said.

SJM’s take is that government data reveals FDI is not the driver of overall investment and growth in the country. “There are instances when FDI and overall investment levels have moved in opposite directions quite significantly. “For instance, in overall terms, while FDI has been growing in leaps and bounds, gross capital formation has fallen from 38 per cent of GDP in FY’08 to a mere 28.7 per cent in FY’15,” SJM said. SJM further cited the experience of the Indian economy in the last 25 years of globalisation as “very distressing” and added that globalisation had led to slowed rate of growth of employment and rate of reduction in poverty, too, had come down.

“SJM has been consistently demanding a white paper from the government on the cost and benefits of FDI in this country,” Mahajan said. The BJP government had announced easing of FDI norms in 15 major sectors soon after the NDA coalition led by BJP lost Bihar Assembly polls to the JDU, RJD, Congress combine