FDI in Retail: Bharath Bhandh on September 20
Come what may Congress this time is brave faced to go ahead with the so-called reforms agenda. While the oppositions are crying foul against the ruling government to have gone ahead with unwanted reforms that harm the internal livelihood. However the Finance Minister P Chidambaram made it very clear that the UPA will not roll back the development measures that it had announced on Friday. He also put a watch word that there is still more on the anvil. With a year away from the General elections (2014) will the new daring move prove successful for the ruling party for a third consequent term is worth watching.
The proposed 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) proposal into the retail segment, FDI in retail is supposed to give the necessary impetus for a robust economy. On the other hand the oppositions cry that this is sure to ruin the internal employment stats and hence have called for a bandh on September 20 (Thursday). Now lets see what the prominent say about the issue: we have sourced their tit bits from various sources purely for reader enrichment. Please sit back and read on what the elite feel about the FDI in retail.
Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury speaks parrot talk about the reforms, 'Sometimes, we need a dentist's treatment, who sets right the problem by giving pain. We know what benefits will come to people through FDI.' The buzz is that Congress brass has sent out a word that it is time for tough decisions and everyone has fallen in line.
BJP-led National Democratic Alliance first proposed 100 per cent FDI in retail a decade ago before diluting it to 26 per cent in its election manifesto in 2004. And now see the sea-change suggestions taking a U-turn to blame the UPA government. "FDI in retail is not the need of the country at this moment. As far as Wal-Mart is concerned, they won't come for charity. They are coming for profit. They want market. Allowing FDI for infrastructure development is not true", BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar.
CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat claims 'as far as the Left is concerned, the battle will not be over on September 20" . He warned that they will not allow retail chains to function wherever they open shops in the country. I don't know why this interest in getting Walmart in India. Ours is a country where shops employ four crore people. After agriculture, this is the largest employment provider in India.... Into this scenario, you want to bring these supermarket chains, which will destroy the retail shops. In western countries this has happened. No retail shop exists where there are these large multi-brand chains.'
In a joint statement, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, H D Deve Gowda (JD-S), Prakash Karat (CPI-M), S Sudhakar Reddy (CPI), Naveen Patnaik (BJD), Chandrababu Naidu (TDP), Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc) and T J Chandrachoodan (RSP), alleged that the UPA government has "stuck cruel blows on the people one after another" by raising diesel price, limiting subsidized cooking gas, opening up of multi-brand retail and disinvestment of PSUs. Let us all unite to stop these measures which will further burden the people and ruin their livelihood. Let there be a powerful protest on September 20 through hartals, picketing, demonstrations and court arrest programmes.
Bal Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Sunday took to the streets to protest the fuel price hike and FDI in retail sector by the Center and asked the Trinamool Congress and the NCP to withdraw support to the UPA government. But the party announced that it will not participate in the proposed bandh on 20, due to the ongoing Ganesh Chaturthi. 'We are with opposition parties. We are against the UPA. Shiv Sena is against the UPA government. However, we will not participate in the protest,' says Uddhav Thackeray.
Our Didi also is against the proposals. Trinamool Congress set in a 72 hour deadline to withdraw the announced reforms. But Congress has not hinged a bit. Ms Banerjee has described those reforms as against the interest of the people. 'I don't agree with such economic reforms which are anti-people because I believe in grass root reforms which concern the masses. Leaders should stop taking decisions which help only four-five people for gaining personal laurels from handful of people. It is a matter of entire country.' claims the Didi.
The opposition feel that this will be suicidal for the home based employment sector. They added that the decision to hike prices of diesel, LPG and allowing FDI in retail trade and the slew of measures announced shows their haste in fulfilling their agenda. Was it a wise move or was it a cold diversion proposal, well only time will tell the difference. After the ongoing media glare on FDI it is high time you revealed your mind on the issue. What makes you comfortable needs to be posted in the comments box below and this aids in arriving at a consensus on the issue. (With inputs from internet-AW AarKay)
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