'India allows Walmart while NY shuts Walmart out'
New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani said on Sunday Walmart was being allowed in India even as it was facing protests in the US and New York "shut Walmart out".
"On the same Friday (September 14) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rolled out the red carpet for Walmart, New York City, America's largest, shut Walmart out," Advani wrote in his blog on Sunday.
He also wrote that on the same day as UPA government "handed the FDI bouquet to Walmart and lobbyists assured that small retailers are safe, Atlanticcities, a web-newspaper from the stable of the famous Foreign Affairs magazine, carried a devastating headline news: 'Radiating Death: How Walmart Displaces Nearby Small Businesses'."
"Weeks ago, on June 30, over 10,000 people, shouting 'Walmart Poverty', marched through Los Angeles, America's richest city, against Walmart stores," Advani said.
"On June 01, hundreds protested in Washington DC against Walmart. 'Say-No-To-Walmart' is an ongoing movement all over the United States," he added.
The BJP leader further recalled an episode from the NDA government, when Congress member Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi had sought clarification from then commerce minister Arun Shourie on plans to allow retail FDI.
"This issue of FDI in retail once occasioned sharp exchanges between BJP and Congress when the NDA government was in office. This happened on December 16, 2002," wrote Advani.
"A leading Congress MP Shri Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, referred to an Economic Times article which had written that on the issue of FDI in retail, the Planning Commission in its draft document of the Tenth Plan had affirmed that FDI was required in this sector.”
"Dasmunshi said that through bureaucrats, multinational retailers are continuously putting pressure on the government to take this anti-national decision of allowing foreign direct investment in the retail trade," he said.