The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the CPI (M) leader to oppose any moves by the Central Government to allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail trade

Members of various trade bodies in the city met the Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Prakash Karat during his visit in Madurai on Thursday and urged him to take up various issues concerning the sector.

The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the CPI (M) leader to oppose any moves by the Central Government to allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail trade as it would endanger the livelihood of four crore people directly engaged in the trade and their 20 crore dependents.

With the volume of India’s retail trade expected to touch Rs. 20 lakh crore by 2015, opening up the sector would lead to just ten multinational corporates controlling the huge business, creating oligopolistic market conditions and displacing millions of retail workers.

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

He also noted that senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murali Manohar Joshi who headed a Parliamentary Standing Committee on this issue had already recommended a blanket ban on even large domestic companies from entering the retail trade into grocery, fruits and vegetables.

A delegation from the Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants Association also met Mr. Karat and submitted a memorandum.

The merchants urged him to raise his voice against the Food safety and Standards Act 2011 which, they feared, adversely harms the sector.

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