New Delhi: The RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagaran Manch today strongly opposed the Centre’s decision to allow 100% FDI under automatic route for single brand retail and foreign investment up to 49% in Air India, saying these decisions are not in “interest of the country”.

The Union Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in single brand retail and construction development under the automatic route.

It also permitted foreign airlines to invest up to 49% under the approval route in the debt-ridden, loss making national carrier.

Expressing strong resentment on the government’s decisions of easing FDI investments, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said, the organisation, “firmly believes that easing the norms for FDI in SBRT would go against the best interest of the country.”

He further said that the more worrisome is the decision to set off the condition of mandatory sourcing requirement of 30% of purchases from India, for five years after the opening of the first store by the foreign company.

“As a result of this decision foreign companies would get freedom of procuring the products from anywhere in the globe.

This would go against the interests of the domestic manufacturing and also would discourage the future investment in manufacturing in India,” he added.

It would go against the government’s own policy of encouraging ‘Make in India’, he said, adding the SJM calls upon the governments to revisit this decision and do not tinker with the 30% mandatory procurement by MNCs from within the country.

Opposing the decision to allow foreign investment in Air India, Mahajan said the finances of national airline are in deep trouble, but allowing foreign investment is not the best of the solutions for ending its troubles.

There is a huge amount of resources of Air India lying idle, which could easily be monetised to take the national carrier out of the blues, he added.

Under the circumstances, it would be prudent to honour the report of the parliamentary committee, which has recently recommended against the disinvestment in Air India and has recommended for holding back this decision for the time being, he added.