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Home > News > PTI

Some foreign companies need to be blocked: NSC

February 16, 2007 01:12 IST

Close on the heels of National Security Advisor M K Narayanan's remark about terrorists' manipulation of stock markets in India, the National Security Council has highlighted the need to block the entry of some foreign companies in the country's sensitive infrastructure sectors.

A report of NSC has said that such companies, unless checked, could gain access to the country's vital information and communication technology assets.

In this context, the report cited the case of Egyptian mobile telecom company Orasscom which, "...has the potential to be on the board of one of India's major telecom companies Hutch-Essar (now major stake taken over by British telecom giant Vodafone).

Orasscom had reportedly been in the running initially for a controlling stake in the Hutch-Essar. The report said Orasscom has received investment from late Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization.

Besides, the company is the biggest telecom operator in Pakistan and has a large presence in Bangladesh, the report said.

The presence of the Egyptian company in India would not be in national interest as the entity could gain access to "our ICT assets and enhance the capabilities of our adversaries in gathering intelligence", said the report.

Among some other overseas companies pointed out by the NSC were Huawei of China, Dubai Ports World, which was refused by the US to manage ports in that country, and an aviation company which has its stake in an Indian private low-cost carrier.

While making it clear that it was not against FDI inflow the country, the NSC report, however, said indiscriminate merger and acquisition leading to foreign companies' entry into sensitive sectors would harm the country's interest.

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