Amit Mitra justifies Trinamool's opposition to FDI in defence

Pakistani authorities Friday released 36 Indian prisoners from the Karachi district prison Malir.

Kolkata: Senior minister in the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal Amit Mitra on Friday justified the party's opposition to hike FDI in defence saying that technology denial would continue despite the increase.

"Out of the 14 technology groups in defence, India is barred from 10 of them in terms of tech-transfer. Out of the remaining four, technology transfer from two of them will not come for various reasons", Mitra, also the state finance and industry minister, said at a CII seminar on defence here.

He said that the remaining two groups would not bring the latest technologies to India and neither transfer them.

Mitra said that this was the reason why Trinamool chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee raised concerns on Centre's decision to hike FDI in defence.

In August, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government approved hike in FDI in defence from 26 per cent to 49 per cent through the approval route in a Cabinet decision, which Trinamool Congress termed as a "backdoor entry".

Stating that Indian OEMs in the defence sector should be given a level playing field vis-a-vis the foreign counterparts, Mitra said that the taxation imbalance should be corrected.

Indian companies were subject to various taxes whereas foreign manufacturers were exempted from such levies.

Mitra said that defence PSUs should be strengthened along with the Raksha Udyog Ratnas.

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