New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) Trashing the government's "big dreams of employment" from FDI in multi-brand retail, the CPI-M's Basudeb Acharia Tuesday said more than 60 percent of parliamentarians were for roll-back of the decision.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha on the debate on allowing foreign investment in multi-brand retail, Acharia said during UPA-I, the Left parties, which were providing outside support, had opposed the government's move to introduce FDI in multi-brand retail.
"In the UPA-I coordination council there was a proposal to introduce it, but we opposed it... We gave a note on why we are opposing it... And because of the Left opposition, the UPA-I, which wanted to allow it, was not allowed to do so," said Acharia.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist member also said that in his 32 years as a parliamentarian he had never seen so many people ranged against a government decision.
According to Acharia, "around 60 percent" MPs want FDI in multi-brand retail rolled back.
Bringing on some titters, the CPI-M MP also referred to "old friend" Mulayam Singh Yadav, chief of the Samajwadi Party, who had joined him along with other political leaders to court arrest during the September all-India strike against the government move.
He said that studies had shown abroad that supermarkets were leading to unemployment.
"The government is giving dreams of employment (from FDI).. There is 0.8 percent growth in employment in the country and unemployment is rising, there is an economic slowdown."
"If Wal-Mart gives one employment, it will snatch 17 employments," Acharia said.
Asking Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, who had spoken earlier pushing for FDI in retail, "to please note", Acahria said one supermarket of Wal-Mart will lead to 1,300 retail shops closing down. "Even then you are supporting it?" he asked.
He said in China, where big brand names flourish, "90 percent of the retail trade is under government control".
Stressing that the move would hit the small shopkeepers, Acharia said though the government is unable to provide employment to people it was attempting to "put an end to the self-employed, those who have set up their own shops, who number more than 20 crore".