The decision of the Aam Aadmi Party Government to withdraw the decision of allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in Delhi evoked mixed response from the kirana shop owners in the Capital.

While some of them approved the decision saying it would protect the interests of the small-time shop owners, others said allowing FDI would in fact improve the retail industry.

“These high-end shops in malls and at other prime locations should get fierce competitors in the form of foreign retailers. This is a good way to raise the benchmark of the retail industry. I don’t support the AAP’s decision on FDI in the Capital,” said Jaspreet singh, a grocery store owner in Gole market.

However, some other shop owners celebrated the move stating it would lessen their plight due to decreased sales. “I fully support the decision taken by AAP government as these foreign companies make huge profit by selling costly items. For example, snacks like chips offered by Lays cost Rs.10 for 30 grams whereas the Haldiram offers 50 grams for the same amount,” said Ashok Kumar, a shop owner in Gole Market.

“The notion that it will raise the standard of the retails industry through competition is a myth as the shop owners can’t compete with the foreign retailers due to lack of huge capital to further upgrade their business,” said a studio owner.

Meanwhile, the students in Delhi seem to be in favour of allowing FDI stating that the flow of foreign investment shouldn’t be stopped as it offers the opportunity to boost the economy, more choice to the consumer and make informed decisions in investment.

“I mostly buy branded products of which 99 per cent are foreign brands as they are long lasting and are designed specifically to the needs of the consumers. Youth will be highly disappointed from this decision as they no longer would get variety of choices to select from,” said Kanchan Bisht, a student from Delhi University.

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