DMK slams foreign funds in insurance

DMK slams foreign funds in insurance

Karuna against setting up of investment board

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Friday opposed across-the-board relaxation in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms in critical sectors like insurance and the Finance Ministry’s proposed National Investment Board (NIB) to fast-track clearance of infrastructure projects of over Rs 1,000 crore.

“In the name of economic reforms, the Centre should desist from rolling out one policy announcement after another in such rapid succession; rather the government should engage in a deep consultation process and then take decisions on the basis of what will be good for India in the long-term,” Karunanidhi said here, answering questions on certain key issues.

Karunanidhi recalled former Union minister, the late Murasoli Maran of the party on FDI that any drastic change in the country’s investment policy by throwing open the “flood gates” to FDI could lead to allowing MNCs’ to “capture our huge domestic market” without any attendant benefit of technology transfer or new product development.
Those observations by Maran “are still relevant today”, Karunanidhi remarked.

The MNCs, with their financial and marketing muscle plus their R and D strengths could
drain out indigenous manufacturing capacities in India, which could further lead to domestic “de-industrialisation and re-colonisation” by the foreign forces, Karunanidhi pointed out, quoting from the late Maran’s speech in Parliament in March 1992.

That was the time the Narasimha Rao Government gave the go-ahead to Manmohan Singh as finance minister to unleash the first major wave of economic reforms in the country.

Karunanidhi’s reference to Maran’s remarks is seen to be politically significant.Referring to the reported objections to the new NIB by Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan to Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s proposal to fast-track mega infrastructure projects, Karunanidhi said several newspapers have also written strong editorials how the proposed NIB was a “retrograde measure” when environmental issues and climate change concerns were concerning the entire world.

He cited these as reasons to drive home why the DMK was also opposed to the NIB.