No FDI in multi-brand retail, says CPI(M)

The CPI(M) on Saturday opposed any move to allow FDI in retail trade suggested by an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) on Inflation.

Last Updated: May 28, 2011, 15:31 PM IST

New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Saturday opposed any move to allow FDI in retail trade suggested by an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) on Inflation, saying it would lead the multinational corporations to have monopoly over both farmers
and consumers and manipulate prices to their benefit.

"The specious arguments put forward (by IMG) that entry of MNC retail giants like Walmart will enhance efficiency of the supply chain and bring down the trading margins belie international experience," the party`s Politburo said in a statement here.

Observing that global experience showed that state regulation of these giant retailers were "always rendered ineffective", it said, "In fact, MNCs will enjoy much greater monopoly power over both farmers and consumers and manipulate prices to their benefit while, at the same time, livelihood of
millions of small unorganised retailers will be virtually wiped out."

Accusing the government of having "utterly failed" to curb the relentless rise in prices, it said the IMG`s suggestion was "to utilize that very failure to push for more concessions to multinational companies like Walmart".

Maintaining this was "yet another instance of pro-MNC neo-liberal framework" which adversely affected the people, the CPI(M) said it was "shocking that the Group of Ministers has refused to accept" Supreme Court`s direction to strengthen public distribution system and distribute foodgrains to the
people which is also one way to control market prices.

It said the IMG also did not suggest any meaningful step to curb food inflation, like improving agricultural productivity, stepping up public investment in storage and transportation, strengthening the PDS or banning future trade
in essential commodities.

The CPI(M) asked political parties and organisations to protest against this "retrograde move".

PTI