India will lose both manufacturing and services sector jobs

The Bharatiya Janata Party is unambiguous in opposing the government move to throw open the retail sector to Foreign Direct Investment.

The party believes that allowing foreign investment in multi-brand retail would adversely impact the retail sector, which is growing, and put the country's entire food chain system into the hands of foreign firms.

At a news conference here, leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley argued that India would lose both manufacturing and services sector jobs with the entry of global retailers into the supermarket sector.

Mr. Jaitley said the Indian economy was dominated by the services sector, accounting for 58 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and it was not ready for FDI in the retail sector.

To a question, he said the BJP was not opposed to FDIper seand would consider it sector-wise. The opposition to the proposal did not mean opposition to economic reforms.

‘Misplaced comparison'

The comparison with China allowing international players in the retail sector was misplaced. China was predominantly a manufacturing economy and the largest supplier to Walmart and other international majors, Mr. Jaitley said. “It generates a huge number of manufacturing jobs by being such a supplier. It obviously cannot say ‘no' to these chains. India, on the contrary, would lose both manufacturing and services sector jobs.”

Questioning the logic that India needed a supply chain to help the farm sector and only foreign players could make the supply, the BJP leaders said it was perilous to put the entire food chain into the hands of foreign concerns. Creation of storage and cold chains was the government's responsibility, and outsourcing the job to foreign companies would endanger the country's food security.

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