The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday opposed the government's proposal to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, saying that the proposal in its present form will hand over the retailers and farmers' interest in foreign hands.
Participating in the debate in Lok Sabha, Member of Parliament (MP) of SAD, Harasimrat Kaur said that the then Finance Minster Pranab Mukherjee had said that FDI will be introduced only after a consensus among all the political parties and state governments, but the government has failed to do so.
"We are willing to support FDI, but who will support the bill which is made to sell the country's interest into the hands of foreigners. The government will have to ensure that the foreign companies will buy a certain percentage of product from our domestic producers and farmers," said Kaur.
Earlier, the Punjab government led by SAD had hinted that it may back the UPA Governments proposals to allow 51 percent FDI, saying the reform will benefit the farmers and traders as it will remove the middlemen from the cycle.
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had said that the state could welcome the move if the Centre builds a consensus and addresses the fears of farmers and small traders. (ANI)