New Delhi: The Congress Wednesday accused the BJP of adopting “doublespeak” on allowing 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail while opposing it during UPA rule.
It also criticised the government for relaxing the 30 per cent outsourcing clause besides opposing allowing 49 per cent FDI in aviation sector, including that in Air India, demanding that the government clarifies whether it was ready to hand over the national carrier to a foreign player.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala highlighted remarks of BJP leaders in a booklet brought out by the party when UPA allowed FDI in single brand retail.
“BJP’s ‘Booklet on FDI’: Government of Foreigners — Narendra Modi. End consumer interests — Arun Jaitley. Betrayal — Sushma Swaraj,” he tweeted.
“Deception, Dishonesty and Dodginess of BJP leadership unmasked on FDI in Retail. Dupe, lie and vilify when out of power. Do the opposite on gaining power,” said the Congress’ communications in charge.
He alleged that by doing away with the requirement of 30 per cent sourcing through “Make in India”, the prime minister has exposed his duplicity and doublespeak on the issue.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said that 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail was notified during the previous UPA government and the only change made is to allow it through the automatic route.
“The prime minister talks of ‘Make in India’, but now says local sourcing is not required,” he said, and asked the government to clarify its policy on multi-brand retail.
Sharma said the policy on multi-brand retail enumerated by the previous UPA government stands and has not been reversed. He asked the government to clarify on its policy to assure investors as they had earlier threatened to reverse that policy.
“As the BJP government allows 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail by doing away the requirement of 30 per cent sourcing through ‘Make in India’, the PM and FM’s duplicity and doublespeak stand exposed,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has harmed the manufacturing sector and traders, Surjewala alleged.
At the party briefing, Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said when the BJP was in the opposition, they opposed the UPA government’s decision. Now when they are in power, they have even dispensed with the 30 per cent sourcing clause while allowing FDI in retail sector.
“During the UPA, we had kept safeguards and made provisions for sourcing within India. Today the prime minister has done away with 30 per cent clause we had kept. Is this ‘Make in India’?” he asked.
Singh also released a video of Narendra Modi, who as then Gujarat chief minister vehemently opposed the UPA government’s FDI decision, and alleged that he was trying to befool people of the country by making all sorts of allegations when the BJP was in the opposition and are now doing just the opposite.
He said the clause of raw material sourcing from within India for foreign players, that has now been done away with, will harm the local manufacturing sector.
Foreign players in single brand retail trade will now be able to set up own shops in India without government approval.
This follows a Cabinet decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail under automatic route, while also easing local sourcing norms.