Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday flayed the Centre’s decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and called for withdrawal of the move which was “totally undemocratic and against people’s interest.”

Noting that the Centre’s decision to leave the States to decide whether they want to opt for FDI or not would create confusion, administrative problems and uncertainty and cripple the growth of the economy, Ms. Jayalalithaa said that the State government “will never allow FDI in retail trade in Tamil Nadu.”

Hitting out at the UPA government in a strongly-worded statement, Ms. Jayalalithaa said: “The UPA government has been making blunder after blunder by adopting many anti-people policies and this latest decision will only add up to one more such serious blunder committed by the Central government which seems to be totally unmindful of the interests of the common people.”

Coming in the wake of the rude shock in the form of diesel price hike, the entry of FDI in multi-brand retail would only increase the woes of people and local traders, the Chief Minister said, “This is an ill-advised move of the Government of India and I reiterate my opposition to this unfortunate and untimely decision.”

According to Ms. Jayalalithaa, the UPA government was always in the habit of diverting the attention of people from main issues by confusing them with such policies. “As I have earlier stated, FDI in retail is neither going to bring down the prices nor improve the investment climate,” she said.

DMK stand

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi said that the move would result in fierce competition for domestic traders.

Stating that his party had already opposed the move in the past, Mr. Karunanidhi told reporters that there was no compulsion for the State to accept operationalisation of 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail as the Union government had left the decision to the choice of States.

Asked whether he concurred with the Union government’s policy decision in view of his party’s opposition in the past, Mr. Karunanidhi replied that the willing States could implement it.

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