The Congress on Monday cautioned the Centre and asked it to be careful and instruct SEBI and RBI to take appropriate steps to prevent any takeover attempts being made for pharmaceutical and insurance companies in the country till normalcy returns and economic activity is revived.
This comes after former party president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said that the economic slowdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic has made Indian companies susceptible to takeovers, and demanded the "corporates" must be protected from "foreign interests".
Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma said, "We are concerned about the takeover attempts of many Indian pharmaceutical entities which are making critical medicines that are required by the country, and also the verticals as I have mentioned - injectables, antibiotics. There has to be a policy and India must not allow takeovers until normalcy returns and economic activity is revived. This should also apply to insurance companies."
Congress has also put forward a suggestion to the Central government saying it should not worry about fiscal deficit and current account deficit as this is an "extraordinary" economic situation. Sharma said the government should give more in relief as less than 1% of the GDP has been given to the COVID relief fund, whereas, many countries have given as much as 15%, for example, USA and Spain. He also said that during the 2008 economic crisis, the then UPA government had given 3% of the GDP as a stimulus.
The Congress leader said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should remove COVID-19 lockdown in a phase-wise manner and pointed out that there is a necessity to start the economic activity in the country. "The economy of the country was already in poor condition and after the coronavirus outbreak, the crisis has deepened. So it is necessary for the Prime Minister to remove lockdown in a phase-wise manner by making a policy framework. It is necessary to start the economic activity in the country," he said.
As per the Union Health Ministry, the COVID-19 death toll rose to 324 and the number of cases climbed to 9,352 in India on Monday.
(with ANI inputs)