Govt unleashes 'retail shining' ad campaign

Centre terms Oppn concerns 'myths'

The advertisement by Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry reads “better price to farmers, lakhs of new jobs, relief to consumers, the foreign direct investment in retail is another revolutionary leap after the liberalisation regime heralded by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh many years ago”.

The Centre threw open India’s estimated Rs 30 lakh crore retail sector by allowing 51 per cent foreign direct investment in multi-brand sector and completely freeing the single brand sector.

While the move brought cheers for the foreign investors it invited criticism from the Opposition and some of its prominent allies.

The BJP and the Left parties, which stalled the proceedings of the Parliament on Friday post Cabinet approval of the Bill, have threatened to continue with their opposition to the Bill in both Houses.

Some allies of the UPA government, especially Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, has also attacked the government on this issue.

But, the government has dismissed their criticism as  “myths”.
“That the ‘kirana’ and retailers will lose is a myth. Retailers will benefit from existing policy of sourcing their requirements from wholesale cash and carry stores at a discount,” the advertisement said.

It also goes on to give examples from some of the countries which have adopted this reform to their benefit. “ Small retail stores have flourished, leading to more employment in countries like China, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Argentina and Chile, which impose no caps on FDI,” it says.

But, the opposition is all prepared to corner the government in Parliament. Key NDA ally JD(U) has given a notice of an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha on Monday and efforts are on for floor coordination among opposition parties including BJP, Left, AIADMK, besides those supporting UPA such as BSP and SP.

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