FDI in retail will be bad for farmers: BJP

FDI in retail will be bad for farmers: BJP

FDI in retail will be bad for farmers: BJP

The BJP on Thursday said that FDI in retail trade is neither beneficial to farmers nor creates jobs as was being made out by the UPA government.

Prime Minister Mammohan Singh, an economist, had himself accepted this bitter truth when he was Leader of Opposition during the NDA regime, former BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu told the executive council. The meeting was open for the media as well.

“India does not require this kind of reforms which would, rather than creating employment, destroy employment,” Naidu quoted a letter written by Singh to the Federation of Associations of Maharastra on December 21, 2002.

BJP senior leader Arun Jaitley, who successfully moved the economic resolution on the second day of the three-day conclave, came up with a critique of the FDI in retail that was partly borrowed from what he claimed was the global experience of opening the multi-brand retail. 

However, Jaitley reiterated that the party “is committed to economic reforms which are in national interest”.

In his address to the gathering, party president Nitin Gadkari announced that the BJP along with other parties will corner the UPA government in the coming winter session of Parliament. The Trinamool Congress, the Left and the Samajwadi Party have already said that they would oppose the opening of multi-brand retail.

Jaitley said manufacturing sector jobs will be lost in India. He claimed that when the sector was opened in the US long time ago, it had led to decline of jobs. Arguing that the impact in India would be far more devastating, he said 51 per cent of people are self-employed, with agriculture topping the list followed by retail trade. In contrast, only 18 per cent of Indians are in structured jobs.

He was of the view that the fragmented markets serve maximum interest, which is more than consolidated markets, which serves better end consumer interests.

Domestic retail sources material locally, while international chains source globally which hurts country’s manufacturing sector.

Jaitley said it was wrong to cite China as a success story of FDI in retail. China being a low cost economy, multinational brands will source from China and flood them in Indian market at the cost of domestic supply. International retailers follow the principle “buy cheap and sell costlier”.

He also discounted the UPA defence that middlemen would be eliminated and producer and farmers would be benefited. In such a scenario, the benefits will go to retailer and not farmers and producers, he added.

“If farmers in the US and the UK have become prosperous due to retailers, why does the US or the EU subsidise their farmers to the extent of $400 billion annually?” Jaitley questioned.

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