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Gopal Rai slams Centre’s labour policy, FDI decision

Gopal Rai slams Centre’s labour policy, FDI decision
Accusing the Centre of having an “anti-Constitution” attitude and slamming its labour policies and move to allow FDI in crucial sectors like defence and railways, Delhi Minister Gopal Rai on Thursday said India does not need foreign investment for achieving progress.

Holding that “nature has given India everything, but the political direction we have is anti-constitutional”, Delhi Labour and Employment Minister Gopal Rai charged that “even the last (UPA) government and the present (NDA)’s attitude is anti-constitution”.

He alleged that the last and the current dispensations at the Centre had failed to take the steps needed for making India a self-reliant and strong nation.

“First, the government that is running the Centre and the country after taking oath on the Constitution. What is its aim and direction because the first word in our Constitution is to make India one complete, self-sufficient and a strong nation. Did Britain, Japan or the USA get developed through foreign investment? If they did not do it, then India possesses enough natural resources and intellectual diversity that we can progress on our own,” Rai said at a seminar organised by ‘India Duologue’ on the occasion of Constitution Day, while adding that “we are not opposed to technology”.

The minister in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government also opposed the Centre’s move of increasing FDI limits in certain sectors, saying that such steps have in the past not yielded any results. He said the way 49 per cent FDI is now allowed in the defence sector, it is detrimental for the country.

Pointing to labour-related issues, he said: “Under the guise of development, the way labour rights are being trampled upon... and the proposed legislation in labour laws will finish whatever rights labour have,” he said.

“Labour is neither an owner of any house, land nor does he possess any property, but he earns his livelihood through his hard work and the Constitution guarantees that. Post liberalisation, the way the economic wheel was taken forward and what has happened... Today, no one is ready to say what has happened after last government's decision to allow 25 per cent FDI,” he said.

He added, “Thousands of acres of land was being snatched under the name of SEZs. What is happening on the land where these SEZs were to come up. Did people get any job anywhere? 100 per cent FDI is being allowed in railways.” 

Meanwhile, against the backdrop of claims of rising intolerance in the country, Rai said that “divisions are happening in the name of religion”.
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