New Delhi, Jan 27 :
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will welcome foreign investment, except in retail, to make India a global manufacturing hub, party leader Smriti Irani has said.
“Of course we would welcome foreign investment. I think that is a given, especially because we are so focused on ensuring that our economy, which is challenged right now, has a resurgence,” Irani told Bloomberg TV.
“But at the same time we need to ensure that India, which has become the second largest workforce in the world, which has become the second largest consumer market, also becomes one of the largest manufacturing hubs of the world,” she said.
However, she said the BJP would take steps to protect the Indian manufacturing sector.
“My leadership has been extremely clear about FDI in retail particularly.”
The BJP opposes FDI in retail, especially in multi-brand, saying it would lead to job losses.
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government recently liberalized the FDI policy. But BJP-ruled states like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have refused to implement it.
Irani expressed the hope that smaller parties would join hands with the BJP after the Lok Sabha election “at least on the agenda of good governance and development”.
She cited how Atal Bihari Vajpayee ran a 22-party coalition government.
“There are many today who seem to be politically distant from us but who have been our allies some time or the other in the past…
“I am extremely sure that at least on the agenda of good governance and development, there are many political parties which shall come together under the umbrella of the BJP-led NDA,” she said.
On the domestic economic policy, Irani said the BJP would focus on every sector and not just the industrial growth.
“The agenda is pretty clear that you cannot ignore every other aspect of economy and only focus on industrial growth.
“One needs to have a comprehensive plan to ensure that our economy grows in such a fashion so that if there is one sector which faces a challenge, the economy as a whole does not collapse,” she said.
She pointed out that BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had outlined these policies this month.
On the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Irani said it would meet the same fate as the UPA.
“AAP is now officially a part of the Congress-led UPA. I am of the belief that there is a big movement in the country against the UPA, and AAP shall face the force of the people,” she said.