As the Union government on Saturday decided to raise the limit for foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence manufacturing from 49 to 74 per cent, the Congress slammed it saying it has "serious national security ramifications".
Addressing the media, Congress leader Gourav Vallabh said the Congress-led UPA government had specifically rejected a proposal to increase the FDI limit in defence manufacturing.
"We strongly object to this proposal as it has serious national security ramifications. In the name of corporatisation, we strongly object to the privatisation of ordnance factories. In fact, these factories require modernisation. For modernising ordnance factories, they require new technology, more investment and best practices. We strongly object to handing over these factories of strategic importance to the private sector," he said.
Vallabh said the fourth tranche of "economic package" announced on Saturday by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was an exercise in "absolute futility". The Central government has also decided to corporatise the Ordnance Factory Board to improve autonomy, accountability and efficiency in ordnance supplies.
"We are bewildered and saddened after hearing the Finance Minister. When the nation is watching millions of our fellow Indians struggling and walking hundreds of kilometers to their home states without food, water, footwear and transport, there was not a single word of help offered to them by the Finance Minister. Instead, she announced measures to make it easier for Indians to travel to space. People want to travel to their states, not space," he added.
He also said that the Congress has analysed all the announcements made by the Finance Minister carefully.
"Going by the government's cash accounting methodology, the incremental coronavirus crisis related to fiscal expenditure incurred by the Centre in the Financial year 2020-21 is less than Rs 25,000 crore, far below the bombastic Rs 20 lakh crore announced by the Prime Minister," he added.