Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday reiterated that her government will continue to oppose foreign direct investment in various sectors, including pharmaceutical and agriculture, as it will “kill the Indian brands”.
“I am not against people getting jobs, but it (FDI) will kill our Indian brands,” Mamata said. “TMC MPs will discuss the matter in Parliament. But 100 per cent FDI be it in pharmaceutical, agricultural or manufacturing sectors will have an adverse impact on Indian brands. We have to look after the Indian brands. We need to do the branding of our own products,” she told the state assembly.
Trinamool Congress has been consistently opposing FDI in many areas and often outlined reasons for it at different fora. It was on the issue of allowing FDI that TMC had walked out of UPA-II government in 2012.
Banerjee said there were certain issues on which the Center should take a call after talking to all political parties. Citing the instance of the pharma sector, she said “allowing FDI in it will lead to increase in prices of medicines including life saving ones.” “It will increase medicine prices and no one will be able to buy them. If you allow 100 per cent FDI, the merit and talent of our country will not come up,” she said.
The BJP-led NDA government has relaxed FDI norms in a host of sectors including civil aviation, single-brand retail, defence and pharma by permitting more investments under automatic route. The other sectors in which FDI norms have been relaxed include e-commerce in food products, broadcasting carriage services, private security agencies and animal husbandry.