Such a move would adversely affect the livelihood of four crore small and medium retailers and their 20 crore dependents.

The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has come out strongly against the Central Government’s move to open up the retail sector to foreign direct investment.

The Union Cabinet on Friday decided to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail while leaving to State Governments the right to allow setting up of such stores. In November last year, the Centre had approved 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand but put the decision on hold due to wide spread opposition.

Chamber president N. Jegatheesan said that move would benefit only the multinational retail companies eyeing the Indian retail market, which is estimated to be worth Rs. 20 lakh crore by 2015.

Such a move would adversely affect the livelihood of four crore small and medium retailers and their 20 crore dependents.

Allowing foreign companies to control the country’s food supply would jeopardise the nation’s sovereignty and harm its efforts to provide food security.

This move will neither benefit farmers, who would be forced to meet requirements of MNCs due to their large purchasing power nor the consumers who would be left with few choices as the big companies would muscle small players out of the market.

The Chamber has thanked Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for having given an assurance that Sri Lankan tourists and pilgrims would face no problems in the Tamil Nadu with the State Government determined to ensure their safety.

The categorical assurance of the Chief Minister would certain to boost the volume of trade and investment and increased tourist and pilgrim traffic between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu, he added

The trade body also condemned the diesel price hike of Rs. 5 per litre. Terming it as shocking, Mr. Jegatheesan said that “steep increase” in would render a telling blow on the already beleaguered trade and industry and general public.

Diesel is generally used for transportation of goods and passengers and in the generators used by industries for captive power generation. Hence, this perpendicular diesel price hike would escalate the price of all commodities.

Considering the serious ill-effects, the Chamber requested the Central Government to opt for immediate withdrawal of the diesel price hike.

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