Left parties to launch agitations against the proposal

Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture Basudev Acharia has charged the United Progressive Alliance government with desperately pushing forward the foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail trade. It (UPA government) has recently decided to delete two important clauses to facilitate FDI by multi-national retail magnets.

He was addressing the members of Hyderabad Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industries (HKCCI) here on Monday.

Mr Acharia said that one of the two clauses deleted in the original act stated that multi-national retail outlets should compulsorily purchase 30 per cent of goods from small and medium sectors. The other one mentioned that the FDI in retail trade would be allowed only in cities which had a population of more than 10 lakh.

Terming the move a desperate measure to tide over the present economic crisis, Mr. Acharia said that the Union government was going ahead with the FDI in retail trade, despite being fully aware of its disastrous consequences on the economy.

The left parties, with the support of all other like-minded organisations, would launch a series of agitations across the country during October and November, and put pressure on the Union government to reverse its decision, he said.

The claims of the government that FDI would protect the interests of small and marginal farmers by giving remunerative prices to their produce, and generate 10 million jobs, were false and the experience of Walmart, owning one of the largest retail outlets in the U.S., was that the prices offered by them to farmers was far less than the prices charged to consumers.

The Walmart in the U.S. had generated only 20 lakh employment in retail trade, he said. Foreign direct investment in retail trade would ruin about 40 million people engaged in such trade across the country. “There is acute agrarian crisis in the country with increasing incidence of farmer suicides prompted by various factors, including the failure to get remunerative prices,” Mr. Acharia said.

President of the HKCCI Umakant Nigudgi, president of the Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha Maruti Manpade, district secretary of the Communist Party of India Moula Mulla spoke.

  • ‘If allowed, there will be disastrous consequences on our economy’

  • ‘About 40 million people engaged in retail trade will be ruined’