Interview With : Baij Nath Rai, President of the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh
Updated on: 30 Jun 2016
As the Modi government moves ahead with steps to boost India's attractiveness as an investment destination, the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) is firmly amongst trade unions opposing easing of FDI norms, plans for disinvestment and privatisation. "Development does not depend on any big industry or foreign money," BMS president Baij Nath Rai told Lola Nayar in an interview. Excerpts:
The government has further opened up several sectors for FDI, including allowing 100 per cent in some through the automatic route as part of its ease-of-doing business plans. How does BMS view the developments?
You see, we have already communicated to the government that FDI is not the only means for the development of a country. We have told the government that if you desire FDI in any industry, you must hold a tripartite meeting with the industry concerned, the union concerned and yourself. You have to convince them why you desire FDI there. Unless this is explored, you cannot announce suo motu FDI for any industry. We have communicated to the government that unless they are able to convince the trade unions, we will oppose the FDI tooth and nail. We have also asked them to study and bring out a white paper on how much FDI has come in and how has the country benefited from it, because we have information that whatever FDI has comes in, eight times of that has been the FDO (Foreign Direct Outgo). Let them say that this information is not correct. If Rs 100 is coming in and Rs 800 going out, then it is a dangerous situation.
You mentioned that ahead of the second anniversary of the NDA government, the trade unions were given assurances on the reforms process, apparently in a bid to stop strikes. Is the FDI policy going back on the assurances given by the government?