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Rahul backs FDI in retail, says it will benefit farmers

Srinagar, Oct 5, 2012 (PTI) 9:10 IST
Backing Centre's decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said the decision will help farmers prosper by removing middlemen from the supply chain and generate new jobs.

Addressing the national executive of Indian Youth Congress here last night, Rahul said FDI in retail will help farmers store their produce safely for a longer duration, thus ensuring best value for their crops.

The 42-year-old AICC general secretary, who is here on a two-day visit beginning yesterday, said around 60 to 70 per cent of all perishable products in the country eventually rot due to lack of proper storage facilities.

The situation, however, will change once FDI in retail comes in, Rahul was quoted as saying in a Youth Congress release. He said farmers could not get good price for their produce as the middlemen in the 'Mandis' would buy from them at very low rates and sell the same at a much higher price in cities.

But once FDI comes in, they will be taken out of this equation, he said. FDI will also create lot of new jobs, which will not only lead to higher income generation but also significantly reduce unemployment, thereby having a salutary effect on the economy, he said.

He, however, said all contractual agreements that farmers get into with the retailers "should be carefully monitored" in order to ensure that interests of the farmer are not harmed.

Rahul noted that in the contemporary world, all economies are interconnected, thus having impact on each other. "If something happens in the US, it will most likely affect events in India, and vice versa," he said.

Earlier, talking to members of the Jammu and Kashmir NSUI national executive, Rahul said it was important to win the hearts and minds of the student community in Kashmir. "We need to earn their trust, their faith. I am here to win their trust through dialogue and deeds," he said.

Rahul also asked state NSUI leadership to bring a delegation of students to Delhi and meet Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal to sort out all issues concerned to them.

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