Inviting Walmart will aggravate job crisis: Karat

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 06, 2012 17:20 hrs

Kolkata, Nov 6 (IANS) Terming the high GDP growth rate of the Indian economy in recent years as "jobless growth", CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat Tuesday said inviting multi-national retail giants like Walmart will only aggravate the employment crisis.

"Inviting firms like Walmart to India will only worsen the present employment crisis," Karat said addressing a seminar on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and India's Economic Policy, organised by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions at neighbouring Howrah.

"The organised sector has not seen any increase in employment during the last 15 years when the GDP growth rate remained high," he added.

"There has been a decline in employment in the organised sector. Even the employment that is available is exploitative in nature," he said.

Karat said even the votaries of the high GDP growth have admitted it could not be sustained.

"Yesterday, even Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said this year the rate of growth will be 5.5 percent. It dropped from 8 percent to 7 percent and is now down to 5.5 percent," he said.

Attacking the central government's response to the economic sluggishness, he said agricultural production had stagnated while industrial production was declining.

"The central government's message to large Indian corporations was that it would adopt measures yielding super-profits for their firms while throwing open the doors to international finance capital to invest here without any regulations whatsoever," he said.

Refering to the UPA-1 government, which the leftists had propped up with outside support from 2004-2008, he said: "During that time also, the government had tried to introduce FDI in retail trade."

"But leaders of the left parties then gone to Congress president Sonia Gandhi who advised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the need to exercise caution. But I find now (Sonia) Gandhi and All India Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Gandhi have also publicly supported the Centre's decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail," he said.

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