Rajya SabhaLok Sabha

August 7, 2014

Derek O’Brien speaks on FDI in Railways and Defense | Transcript

This is a very serious issue on FDI. Given what has been happening in the last ten days, it makes it all the more serious. Last night after the Parliament got adjourned, there was this announcement through the Cabinet about 100% FDI in Railways and 49% FDI in Defense. Sir, the timing of this and the way this has happened leaves a lot to be desired.

For the last one week, the whole country knows, what the status of FDI in insurance Bill is. The reality is, as much as the Govt of India wants to move that Bill, and bring it in Rajya Sabha and defeat the Bill, they cannot do it because the Bill will be sent to a Select Committee… because the majority of the members, about 150, do not want the Bill to be voted on; they want it to go to the Select Committee.

But there is a hurry. There is a plane to catch and bags to be packed in the middle of September because a trip has been made to America. So there is a hurry to bring FDi in Railways and Defense and start the auction of India, to sell India. They say once you bring FDI in India, all of India’s problems will be taken away.

Let me use this opportunity to tell you about 2008 Sir. By the way, 32 States in the United States of America do not allow FDI in Insurance. Why are we so excited about it? In 2008, US Govt had to bail out a private insurance company, because they went down the chute, with 80 billion dollars.

They are coming here. We are giving them a free market. We have put up some sales signs. This is not the way to go Sir. This is not the way to go. FDI is not the solution for all problems. FDI is Foreign Direct instruction. It is Foreign Direct Intrusion.

For the last ten years, the former Govt and the current Govt were playing relay – passing the parcel. The result of that was seen. The Govt came down; the Congress party – unfortunately for them – came down to 44. Those people, we thought, were in fourth gear. This is in fifth gear. They are on an overdrive. They want to go faster to catch the plane in September.

This is a very serious issue Sir. No to FDI in insurance, Defense and Railways. Don’t sell our country.

Thank you.