New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Former Defence Minister AK Antony said allowing 100 per cent FDI in defence meant throwing the sector into the hands of “Nato-American defense manufacturers”, which poses a threat to national security.
Antony, in a statement, also pointed out that the move came just after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US.
“It’s immediately after PM Narendra Modi’s US visit, the central government brought sweeping changes in the FDI policy. The move poses a big threat to national security and India’s independent foreign policy.
“Allowing 100 percent FDI in defence sector means India’s defense sector is thrown mostly into the hands of Nato-American defense manufacturers,” he said.
Antony also said that move “will have an adverse impact on the ongoing indigenous defense research activities in the country”.
Stressing on the point that the decision came soon after Modi’s US visit, Antony said: “The joint statement issued by Modi and (US President Barack) Obama resembles like India has become a security partner of America. The statement says that both India and America will work together as equal partner towards for peace and security of Asia-Pacific region”.
“The announcement in the joint statement about the cooperation between India and America to ensure the security of Gulf and West Asia will also create very serious problems. After issuing the joint statement, the cooperation between India and US in defence sector is changed from a friendly nature to a partnership,” he said.
“It will naturally affect India’s relations with its natural friendly countries. I strongly condemn this move. It is against the interest of the country and its people. I also urge Modi government to withdraw the decisions affecting national interest,” he added.
The liberalised FDI regime announced on Monday permits Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to 100 per cent in defence sector.
As per the new rules, foreign investment beyond 49 per cent will be been permitted through government approval route, in cases resulting in access to modern technology in the country or for other reasons to be recorded while the condition of access to ‘state-of-art’ technology in the country has been done away with. FDI limit for defence sector has also been made applicable to manufacturing of small arms and ammunitions.