The Centre’s decision to relax the norms for foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail is nothing short of a disaster in a country where nearly 20 crore people benefit either directly or indirectly through the retail industry, DMK president M.Karunanidhi said on Monday.

In a statement here, the DMK chief said his party had always been against allowing FDI in the retail sector.

He said the decision by the Commerce and Industry Ministry to ease some critical norms – like ensuring that FDI companies in retail procure at least 30 per cent of their goods locally and allow such supermarkets to come up only in cities with population over 1 million – would be a body blow to the entire country, including consumers.

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