Retail FDI: Left parties ask units to step up stir

Last Updated: Friday, December 2, 2011 - 17:23

New Delhi: Upping their ante over the demand
for a rollback of government`s decision to allow FDI in
retail, Left parties on Friday asked their units to intensify
nationwide protests on the issue.

The CPI said the "adamant attitude of the Prime Minister
smacks of a Bali deal for pushing retrograde economic measures
to meet the interests of the USA", while the CPI(M) charged
the government with using "specious arguments" to defend its
move.

"Unable to counter the facts regarding the large-scale
displacement of employment and livelihoods in the retail trade
if foreign retail chains are allowed to operate in the
country, the UPA government is now using the specious argument
that it will benefit the farmers.

"Contrary to its claim, experience in other countries
shows that once multinational retailers establish themselves
and eliminate the intermediaries, they are able to dictate
terms to the producers. The farmers would become captive to
the prices determined by the giant retailers," the CPI(M)
Politburo said in a statement.

Backing shopkeepers and traders who had gone on strike
on Thursday, the CPI(M) said the struggle against FDI in retail
trade must be continued with vigour and asked its units
to intensify the campaign by organising more protest actions.

The CPI Central Secretariat accused the government of
showing "obstinacy" on its decision to allow 51 per cent FDI
in multi-brand retail trade despite "strong opposition by the
entire parliamentary opposition and even a few of the allies
of the ruling combine."

The FDI decision would "have dire consequences for our
economy", ruin the lives of over a million retail traders, hit
the customers and farmers as the retail MNCs would fix the
prices, attempt to change the crop pattern and throw lakhs of
people out of jobs, it said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 2, 2011 - 17:23

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