The Union Cabinet’s decision to allow up to 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail trade has already stirred up a political hornets’ nest with the opposition parties gearing up to corner the government in Parliament. Under fire from various quarters, the Commerce and Industry Ministry came out with full-page newspaper advertisements seeking to clear “myths” about 51 per cent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. Barely a day after Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma made it clear that it was for the states to “take a call” on implementing the policy, Jayalalitha urged the Centre to reverse the move as “it would not serve to bring down inflation or improve market efficiency.”
Jayalalitha, in a strongly worded statement, slammed the Centre, saying: “While Parliament is in session, this move without even consulting state governments is unprecedented and indicates the overweening arrogance of the government.” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has also opposed the move which, according to her, would make the state “bankrupt.”
The issue brought to the fore the dissent within the party with Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ramesh Chennithala writing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh criticising the decision.