Companies badly hit by coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic targets of foreign takeovers, says Rahul Gandhi

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday (April 12) remarked that the economic slowdown caused due to the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has weakened several Indian companies and they have become easy targets for takeovers by foreign firms.

Companies badly hit by coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic targets of foreign takeovers, says Rahul Gandhi

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday (April 12) remarked that the economic slowdown caused due to the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has weakened several Indian companies and they have become easy targets for takeovers by foreign firms. The Gandhi scion suggested the government to take measures in order to protect the 'weakened corporates' from "foreign interests".

"The massive economic slowdown has weakened many Indian corporates making them attractive targets for takeovers. The Govt must not allow foreign interests to take control of any Indian corporate at this time of national crisis," he tweeted.

Rahul Gandhi made the statement hours after it was revealed that People's Bank of China (PBOC) has acquired 1.01 per cent stake in HDFC. It is to be noted that PBOC is the central bank of China and according to SEBI records the bank has purchased around 1.75 crore shares in HDFC during the quarter ended March.

The PBOC deicded to make the purchase when the share price of the mortgage lender has plunged around sharply due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The eocnomic activity acriss India came to a grinding halt on March 24 after the announcement of a 21-day nationwide lockdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curb the spread of coronavirus. Experts have said that the harsh lockdown is affecting the badly, which was already not doing very well due to fall in demand and low GDP growth.

According to World Bank projection, India will register a growth of just 1.5-2.8 per cent in its current financial year. Earlier, the World Bank had projected 4.8-5.0 per cent growth for the same period.

The International Monetary Fund has already warned of a global recession, noting that the economic crisis caused by coronavirus is unlike any in the past century.

For his part, PM Modi on Saturday (April 11) asserted during his meeting with chief ministers that it is important to protect both lives and the economy. The prime minister, however, also dropped hints that the nationwide lockdown could be extended by two more weeks - till April 30.

"In my first address I had said, 'Jaan hai to jahaan hai (If there is life, the world will exist)'. We must now look at Jaan bhi, jahaan bhi (life and the world)," he said.

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