Rajya Sabha members, cutting across party lines support bill on FDI in financial services, critical infra, tech

Several Rajya Sabha members, cutting across party lines, today supported a private member’s bill, which seeks to set up a committee to scrutinise foreign investments in financial services, critical infrastructure and technology sectors having bearing on national security.

Members hailing from the BJP, the Congress and other parties raised concerns over data security and said it was an issue of national security and that there was a need to ensure that foreign direct investments in sectors such as financial services are scrutinised.

The members were taking part in a debate on the Foreign Investment in Financial Services, Critical Infrastructure and Technology Affecting National Security (Regulation) Bill, moved by Narendra Jadhav, a nominated member of Rajya Sabha.

The bill was moved by Narendra Jadhav in December last year. Participating in the debate on the bill, BJP member Shiv Pratap Shukla said that in the current scenario, FDI is necessary for the growth of the economy, but it should not be above national security concerns. Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena said, there should be a high- powered committee to scrutinise such FDI proposals.

Ram Kumar Verma of the BJP said, there should be due diligence by the committee on foreign investments as suggested by Mr Jadhav. Supporting the bill, Congress member Rajeev Gowda said there was a need for wider participation in a committee on FDI that currently includes government secretaries and officials.

He suggested that security experts and other sections of people are taken on board of the panel, who should be equal members. BJP member D P Vats, RJD’s Manoj Jha and T K S Elangovan also supported the bill. BJP members Ashok Bajpai, Mahesh Poddar and Vikas Mahatme were of the view that there were enough safeguards in place to deal with any such security challenge.

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