New Delhi: The Prime Minister had asked the
chief of American retail chain Walmart in 1995 to "convince"
then West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee about
allowing FDI in retail sector, which the latter opposed, a top
CPI(M) leader said on Sunday.
"The Prime Minister had asked the Walmart chief to go and
convince the West Bengal Chief Minister on allowing FDI in
retail trade. Bhattacharjee had then explained the party`s
stand (opposition) on the issue", CPI (M) General Secretary
Prakash Karat said here.
He said the Walmart chief had come to meet the Prime
Minister in 1995 when the Left parties were supporting the
UPA-I government from outside.
Responding to questions on the US diplomatic cables
released recently by the WikiLeaks, he said Chief Ministers of
the erstwhile Left-ruled states of West Bengal and Kerala had
spoken about the party line on FDI during their interactions
with American diplomats.
Indicating that the CPI(M) was not completely opposed to
allowing FDI, he said the party did not want its entry into
certain specific sectors like retail trade, mining and higher
education. "In certain areas, FDI should not be there."
"FDI can be allowed keeping in mind that it improves our
productive capacities, helps us in acquiring new technologies
and generates employment. This stand of ours is part of our
party programme", he said, adding that even the Parliamentary
Standing Committee had opposed FDI entry in print media.
"Our leaders and chief ministers (with whom US diplomats
had interacted) have spoken about the party stand on FDI," he
said, adding that he would not go into the "interpretations"
made by the US diplomats in the cables.
10 fishermen go missing
Alibag: Ten fishermen remained missing
after five fishing boats from the Raigad district sank in the
turbulent sea, officials said here Sunday.
Six crew members of these boats, who were not found
yesterday after the boats sank, today swam ashore, but ten
others were yet to be traced.
Navy`s Dornier aircraft and vessel `Vipul` has been
pressed into service for rescue operations, they said.