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100 pc FDI in coal mining: 2 Left parties slam Centre, demand decision reversal

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Two Left parties hit out at the Centre on Thursday over the country's economic situation and demanded reversal of its decision to allow 100 per cent foreign investment in coal mining.

In a fresh round of FDI reforms, the government on Wednesday allowed 100 per cent foreign investment in coal mining and contract manufacturing, eased sourcing norms for single-brand retailers and approved 26 per cent overseas investment in digital media as it looks to boost economic growth from a five-year low.

The CPI(M) in a statement said, "The politburo of the CPI(M) strongly opposes the decision of the Union Cabinet to allow 100 FDI in coal mining... This reckless measure will enable foreign companies to plunder the mineral resources of our country."

"This decision will also have a harmful effect on Coal India Ltd which is the premier national coal miner. The Modi government is bent upon weakening the public sector coal company. It had already opened coal mining to Indian private entities during its previous tenure. The BJP government is surrendering national control over the mineral resources which is highly detrimental to the country's interests," it said.

The party also said the decision to relax FDI norms for single-brand retailers to comply with sourcing regulations is also "retrograde" and will adversely affect the vast retail trade sector in the country and demanded that the government reverses all these measures.

In the coal sector, now foreign players can invest 100 per cent for mining and sale of coal under automatic route. They will also be able to carry out other associated processing infrastructure related to the sector such as coal washery, crushing, coal handling, and separation (magnetic and non-magnetic).

The CPI, in a separate statement, said the government's announcement of new measures to give the economy a boost was an "admission" that it has failed to address issues like unemployment and growth.

"Having admitted the crisis, government is resorting to reviving economy through foreign investments. This has failed so far and in fact is the reason for the present crisis.

"Taking advantage of the crisis, the government is planning to sell national assets to foreign investment and private interest. Government's decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in coal mining is a disastrous one," it said.

"The Trade unions and workers are already opposing this. This is a dangerous move and against national interest. The CPI demands strengthening of public which is the strength of economy," the CPI said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 29 2019. 18:45 IST
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