Written by Ritika Chopra
Nominated Rajya Sabha MP Narendra Jadhav tells The Indian Express why he drew the House’s attention to Chinese firm Alibaba’s stake in Paytm during Zero Hour on Wednesday.
Please explain the issue that you raised today.
There is a threat to our national security because of Chinese multinational firms entering India’s financial sector. The Chinese Communist Party is seeking a direct role in influencing decisions made by multinational companies like Alibaba. Alibaba has bought a large stake in Paytm, which, in turn, has applied for NBFC (Non Banking Financial Company) licence. Once Paytm gets the licence, it will open up India’s financial sector to influence of Chinese authorities.
Can you describe how this can pose a security threat?
Through Paytm, Chinese authorities can gain access to personal and financial data of millions of Indians and corporations. This means they can influence Indian financial sector. The Chinese have an incredible amount of capital. They can dump their capital in our markets and indulge in predatory pricing.
Please give an example how the Chinese may have attempted this earlier.
Can India take control of Chinese NBFCs? No. This is because they see this as a threat to their national security. Why is the Donald Trump administration seeking to block China Mobile in the US? Because this is a national security concern.
What should the government do?
Currently, private bank licences are given on a few conditions. For instance, in order to start a private bank you need to have at least 26% ownership by Indians and, no investor can hold more than 10% stake in the bank. I have proposed that similar restrictions be imposed on NBFCs.
How will you keep the issue alive?
I have separately given a notice for a Calling Attention motion in Rajya Sabha on this. If it’s approved, there will a be full-fledged discussion.--IE