PM Narendra Modi led government’s decision to ease Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms to allow 100 per cent FDI in a single brand retail trading and to move further towards Air India divestment has been opposed by Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the economic wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The Indian Express quoting a statement released by the SJM co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan said that SJM believes that investing in SBRT (Single Brand Retail Trading) would go against the best interests of the country. It further noted that SJM has lodged a protest against the government’s decision to relax norms and the organisation urged people to act against the decision. According to SJM, the government’s move will restrict domestic manufacturing and discourage future investments in manufacturing in India as they feel that foreign firms can procure material from any part of the world. SJM said that doing so would mean an end to encouraging ‘Make in India’.
The government on Thursday cleared 49 per cent FDI in debt-ridden Air India and eased rules on single brand retail, construction and power exchanges. The SJM expressed dissatisfaction on government’s decision to allow foreign investment as they feel it is not the solution and can quickly lead to privatisation of the airline as RSS’s idea of ‘Make in India’ and their idelogical values goes against the governtment’s decision. Ashwani Mahajan further said that, “More worrisome is the decision to set off the condition of mandatory sourcing requirement of 30 per cent of purchases from India, for five years after the opening of the first store by the foreign company”.
Moreover, SJM indicated that the government should have inquired more into the reasons behind Air India’s indebtedness. SJM suggested that Air India’s resources have not been utilised to its optimum and can be monetised to take the Maharaja out of the financial misery.