Thiruvananthapuram: Hitting out at the Narendra Modi government over its bid for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, CPI(M) today said it was a pursuit which was “totally unnecessary” and a “big diplomatic setback“.
“The Modi government had made frantic efforts to get membership of NSG and you saw Prime Minister going around the world meeting leaders of various countries to elicit support for membership of NSG and we have failed to get membership in the plenary session of NSG held at Seoul recently. That is not surprising,” CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat told reporters here.
He said in 2008, the Manmohan Singh government had after signing the Indo-US Nuclear Civil Nuclear agreement managed with the US to get a waiver from the NSG. This allowed India, despite not being a member of NPT, get an exception to buy nuclear technology, he said.
“The concept that America promised (was) that we will make you a member and we have completely allied to the US. We thought that becoming an ally of the US will give us automatic membership of the NSG,” he said.
“The government is trying to say it was only China which opposed India’s entry into NSG. That is not correct. Out of 48 countries, 10 countries, including China, and our own partners in BRICS like Brazil and South Africa, did not favour India getting into the NSG,” he said.
“This has been a big diplomatic setback for India in recent times and we would like the Modi government to have a more reasonable foreign policy. Not line up with the US and fall in line with their strategy to contain China. That sort of approach is not helping our country’s independent foreign policy,” he said.
Flaying the government’s decision to ease FDI norms in defence procurement, retail trade in food items and civil aviation and allowing 74 per cent FDI in existing pharmaceutical enterprises, Karat said these policies would be “very harmful” for the country and the people.
In the pharmaceutical industry, already there was 100 per cent FDI for greenfield enterprises. But with the new norms in place, 74 per cent foreign shares or control can be there for existing pharmaceutical enterprises.
This will allow foreign companies to take over Indian companies and they will allow only their patented drugs to be manufactured which would be 3-4 times more expensive, he said.
India is the biggest producer of generic drugs, which enables people to get medicines at cheaper cost and it is also being exported to third world countries, he said. The 100 per cent FDI in food retail will send the small goods and grocery shops out of business, he said.