Do not succumb to US pressure, parties tell Govt

New Delhi: Opposition parties today reacted sharply to US President Barack Obama`s remarks that India prohibits foreign investment in too many sectors, saying government should not come under any pressure and desist from relying on prescription offered by others.

"They want to open up our economy and market on their terms. For this purpose they are creating this pressure…as it is, no one believes that under the present situation, there will be any sea change in the investment scenario world over," senior CPI-M leader Nilotpal Basu said. The BJP said Obama`s remarks were "laughable".

"That country is giving us a certificate on investment and economy when it itself is facing economic problems. We have to ensure our national interests on our own. It is laughable," he said. BJP Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay said India cannot be blind to its interests on issues like FDI. "We have all the rights to protest FDI…. It is a question of our interests," he said.

The BJP and the Left have opposed FDI, especially in retail citing interests of the small trader. Noting that India prohibited foreign investment in too many sectors such as retail, Obama today cited concerns over deteriorating investment climate here to endorse another "wave" of economic reforms.