‘Prime Minister is dancing to the diktats of multi-nationals’

CPI national secretary and Rajya Sabha member D. Raja on Tuesday said the UPA-II Government’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail trade would be a threat to economic sovereignty of the nation.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Marxist Study Centre at the Public Library here, Mr. Raja said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was dancing to the diktats of multi-nationals and big retail chains like Walmart ignoring the national interest.

Mr. Raja said the government was indulging in a false rhetoric in support of FDI by saying that it would generate new jobs and help agriculture sector.

He also claimed that when P. Chimbaram was the Finance Minister in the United Front Government he tried to open the floodgates to FDI but had to drop it due to resistance from Left parties.

He said if implemented, multi-brand retail chains would set up malls and recruit a few people wearing their uniform. On the other hand, the retail traders have to shut down their shops, the small and marginal farmers would be rendered jobless with the corporate and big farmers calling the shots.

He said the multi-brand retail chains were targeting India for a foothold as there was a huge market due to 25 crore people with middle class and salaried population.

He said despite the government’s claim defending FDI, China had remained way ahead of others with its policies to safeguard its own interest. “Now China is lending money to the United States,” he said and pointed out how in Germany there was a clause to reject an outlet with FDI if they found that it would affect the interest of retail traders in the locality.

CPI district secretary J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy presided. All India secretary of National Federation of Indian Women Annie Raja, CPI district committee member Ch. Raghavendra Rao, and district secretariat member A.J. Stalin were present.

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