BJP objects to move on FDI

BJP objects to move on FDI

The BJP has taken objections to the finance ministry’s move to remove the foreign direct investment (FDI) cap on private security agencies as the opposition party believes it is “ill-conceived” and may end up “compromising the nation’s security”.

“The proposal for change in FDI cap in private security sector is an ill-conceived idea that could result in compromising the nation’s security for no significant gains in terms of foreign investment inflows,” said MP and BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi.

Reacting to reports appearing in economic dailies, Joshi said it was “disappointing” to note that Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who is aware of the concerns, having done a stint in home ministry, has chosen to “endorse” the Arvind Mayaram Committee report on “liberalising the FDI regime” by recommending the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce, for changes in the consolidated FDI policy.

Joshi said that the proposal is to allow 100 per cent FDI in private security agencies, doing away with current 49-per cent cap.  It will allow foreign nationals to own and control private agencies deployed in sensitive locations.  

The private security sector was opened up in 2005 through the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, or PSAR Act, of 2005, with the Union Home Ministry designated as the nodal department.

The Act clearly stipulates majority Indian ownership and control as a precondition for issuing of licence to operate a private security business in the country, said the BJP leader.

The party now fears that the UPA government is trying to circumvent the parliamentary procedure by seeking the Commerce Ministry to amend the FDI policy on private security sector, which has serious ramifications.

“Attempts to amend the FDI policy for the private security sector through DIPP, Ministry of Commerce without considering the federal legislation (PSAR Act) and without any consultation with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs is not only a serious technical anomaly with legal implications but also against parliamentary protocols,” Joshi remarked.