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RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch up in arms against Paytm

LiveMint logoLiveMint 07-08-2017 PTI

Bengaluru: The RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch has intensified its anti-China campaign, asking people not to use digital payment major Paytm and demanding that the government disallow Chinese investments in such firms for economic and security reasons.

“We have given a call to people and asked them to stop using Paytm. We also asked the government to disallow investments in companies like Paytm from China because it is prone to security hazards and economic problems, which is not going to be in the best interest of our country,” SJM co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan said. This statement comes amid India’s border standoff with China in Doklam. Mahajan said too much of foreign investments flowing into India, from China as well, will create a situation like in Sri Lanka where it had to part with its airport in exchange for its debts.

“More and more investments will create a situation where in India will have to pay for the income generated by foreign firms. You have to pay for royalty, income, dividends and interests,” he said. “So, the outflow on account of income by these foreign investors will exceed compared to the inflow of FDIs. If this happens, then how can a nation like India generate so much of foreign exchange to pay for these foreign investors?” he asked. In fact, the Manch has been demanding stoppage of foreign investments in almost all fields, but Paytm gaining significance of late is because it is being projected as a domestic initiative, Mahajan said.

In reality, Paytm is not a domestic initiative because more than a majority portion is being owned by Alibaba and other Chinese firms, he said. Chinese investors and firms are not only interested in Indian commodity market, but also want to capture its service sector because they have plenty of surplus cash with them, Mahajan said. He also said the Manch had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation set up a factory in Nagpur. The firm has bagged contract to manufacture 69 and another 100 coaches for the Nagpur and Kolkata metros, respectively, Mahajan said.

“Its entry into our manufacturing sector is dangerous. We don’t want it to happen,” he added. Asked about restricting Chinese firms from investing in India, Mahajan said they bring in their own people as labour. “If you sign a MoU with Indian companies, they will prefer Indians than Chinese labour. So, Indian investment is better than Chinese investment and makes a lot of sense.” Mahajan also said imposing heavy anti-dumping duty on Chinese imports will boost the Indian economy.

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