The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has alleged that there are “crude contradictions and deceptions” behind the concept of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ or self-reliant India propagated by PM Narendra Modi recently.
Launching a stinging attack on Modi, the CPM in the latest editorial of its mouthpiece ‘People’s Democracy’ said that Modi’s aim is to make India’s economy more dependent on international capital rather than making it more independent.
“Behind such bombast lies a crude contradiction and deception. The Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan special package announced to realize this goal has exposed the reality – the aim is to make India’s economy more dependent on international finance capital and to privatise India’s natural resources to benefit foreign and Indian big business,” said the CPM.
Referring to Modi’s address to the annual session Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), while Modi said India would be fully integrated with the world economy, “but it also meant that the country would not depend on anyone in strategic areas”, the package unveiled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has done the opposite, it said.
“The mineral and mining sector has been thrown open to multinational companies. 500 mineral blocks would be auctioned to private bidders. Already the government had announced 100 per cent FDI through the automatic route for mining and exploration in metal and non-metal sectors. It had also announced 100 per cent FDI in commercial coal mining,” said the CPM.
Similarly, the package announced by the FM Sitharaman “provides for increasing FDI from 49 per cent to 74 per cent along with measures to dismantle the public sector defence production units,” said the party.
Saying that India has become one of the biggest buyers of American military equipment, CPM said the package announced by the FM had, in fact, laid out a blueprint for privatising the major public sector undertakings, instead of making India self-reliant.
Emphasizing that a crucial aspect of building a self-reliant economy is to have a strong base for research and development (R&D), the CPM saidthat the Modi government has paid no attention to R&D and scientific research with the expenditure on this front being a dismal one per cent of GDP.
“Self-reliance is not possible without a strong public sector in the core and strategic areas, a sound public health system and a strong public educational network. The quest for self-reliance has to be backed up with indigenous R&D and scientific and technological advance. None of this is within the horizon of the BJP-RSS thinking,” reads the editorial.