Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, said the biggest danger of allowing FDI in Indian markets was not just the threat posed to retail and services sectors but the danger faced by the manufacturing sector.
"International retail sources its products internationally and domestic sources domestically. India has not taken up any reforms in manufacturing sector. While companies from US and Europe will capture the Indian markets with cheap Chinese goods, India will become a nation of sales boys and sales girls," he said at a public meeting here.
"It is a decision for which India at least today is not prepared. And I cannot understand the compulsion. I hope the government falls on this issue so that no one repeats the mistake," he said.
Making a strong pitch against the government's decision, Jaitley said international structured retail did not create jobs but "displace" existing ones.
About four crore of India's workforce was dependent on retail sector for a livelihood and it was "erroneous" to say that opening up the market to foreign players will help both big corporates and local industry thrive, he said.
"They (foreign retailers) will source cheap, sell cheap, drive out competition and monopolise the market", he added.
The manufacturing sector suffered from among others, "rigid" labour laws, he said.
"When you monopolise market, there are very few small players.. A market controlled by a few people is contrary to public interest," he said.
Chennai: BJP on Saturday said implementation of FDI in multi-brand retail will make India a nation of "sales boys and sales girls" and it hoped to see the end of the UPA government on the issue.
First Published: Saturday, September 15, 2012, 21:05