Senior Congress leader 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".
"The massive economic slowdown has weakened many Indian corporates making them attractive targets for takeovers. The Govt must not allow foreign interests to take control of any Indian corporate at this time of national crisis," he tweeted.
The massive economic slowdown has weakened many Indian corporates making them attractive targets for takeovers. The Govt must not allow foreign interests to take control of any Indian corporate at this time of national crisis.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 12, 2020
Mr Gandhi's remark comes on a day when the People's Bank of China (PBOC) purchased 1.01 per cent stake in the mortgage lending major Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC). The central bank of China has acquired nearly 1.75 crore shares in HDFC during the quarter ended March.
The development comes at a time when the share price of the lender has fallen drastically.
Most of the businesses and financial activities in India came to a grinding halt last month when the centre announced a complete nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the virus. Experts have warned that the lockdown is putting a burden on the economy, which was already reeling under flagging demand and low GDP growth.
The World Bank has predicted that India will see growth of just 1.5-2.8 per cent in its current financial year -- down from an expected 4.8-5.0 per cent for the year just ended.
The International Monetary Fund, one of the world's biggest financial institutions, also warned of a global recession, and said the pandemic is causing an economic crisis unlike any in the past century and will require a massive response to ensure recovery.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday stressed the need to protect both lives and the economy at the end of a video meeting with chief ministers. He, however, indicated that the lockdown could be extended till April 30.
"In my first address I had said, 'Jaan hai to jahaan hai (If there is life, the world will exist)'. We must now look at Jaan bhi, jahaan bhi (life and the world)," he said.