UPA's retail FDI decision against national interest: Opposition

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 07, 2013 16:10 hrs

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) Continuing their attack on the Congress-led UPA government for allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, opposition parties Thursday accused it of working against the national interest, with the BJP asserting that it will oppose the move till its "last breath".

"This FDI (foreign direct investment) is not in favour of the consumer, farmer, trader, manufacturer and the country. That's why we are opposing it and will continue to oppose it till our last breath," Jaitley said as he addressed a rally held at Ramlila Ground here organised by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader argued that under FDI, 60-70 percent of the business will go into the hands of just two or three companies which will be harmful for the farmers.

"The farmers would be left with no choice but to sell their produce to them. When the number of sellers decrease, how will it benefit the farmers," asked Jaitley.

BJP president Rajnath Singh accused the government of working against the national interest and under US pressure.

"The government went ahead without building any consensus ... it was only because the government was under the pressure of America, as it was during the nuclear deal," said Singh asserting that if the BJP returned to power, it would revoke the agreement.

Sharad Yadav - chief of the Janata Dal (United), BJP's ally in the National Democratic Alliance, agreed: "As soon as NDA returns to power, the PM's dream of FDI will turn to dust."

The Communist Party of India (CPI) accused retail giant Wal-Mart of corruption, referring to the allegations of lobbying by the company with US lawmakers to enter India.

"The incident shows how foreign companies will be allowed to set shops in the country by adopting corrupt practices. Walmart's entry into India began with corruption, how can it act clean after this," party leader A.B Bardhan said.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Basudeb Acharia said any major intervention in the Indian economy by foreign companies will destroy the small traders, who are the foundation of the country's economy. He claimed at least 4,000 people will be left unemployed by each retail shop set up by Wal-Mart.

Hundreds of trader, hawkers and unions from across the country participated in the rally while several markets in the capital remained closed till afternoon as traders downed shutters in protest.

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