'FDI in retail will help farmers is myth'

Many traders down shutters till 12 noon to flay government move

It is a myth that FDI in retail will ensure higher income to farmers and help reduce poverty in India, said Old Bunder Wholesale Kirana and Allied Merchants Association President G G Mohandas Prabhu.

Speaking at a protest meet, "Say No to FDI" organised by the Association at KCCI in Mangalore on Wednesday, he pointed out that the association is distressed by the decision of Government of India to allow 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Multibrand Retail Trade. The Indian Government should reconsider this decision in the interest of Indian Consumers, Indian Farmers and the Indian Traders who make a living by the retail trade, he said.

A report from a Global Trade Union has warned that FDI in Multibrand Retail would lead to large scale displacement of Indian Workers in retail, logistics, agriculture and manufacturing sectors. The National Sample Survey Organisation of India (NSSO) has determined that 44 Million people are directly involved in retail trade.

"The association is very apprehensive about the capacity of the small retail traders to withstand the onslaught of MNCs. The government of India is keen on inflow of capital into backed infrastructure by these MNCs," he said.

Another study shows that for every dollar paid by the US consumers for food products, the share of farmers has come down from 41 cents in the 1950s to 18.5 Cents in 2006.
The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has estimated a 36 per cent loss of fruits and vegetables in USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand where big retail is most developed, he said.

FDI is the result of liberalisation policies. The country has not received major capital investment despite liberalisation policy was introduced in 1991-92.

The total capital investment the country received in 2011-12 is 47 billion dollars.
However, the money sent by Indians residing abroad to the country is 66 billion dollars, he informed.

Hale Bunder Shramikara Sangha Secretary Vasanth Achary said that Government claiming to give jobs with the introduction of FDI is meaningless.

More than 20 crore people are involved in retail trade. Establishment of one Walmart will affect 1,200 retail shops. Only 240 people may be employed in these companies. However, 4000 people will lose their jobs, he said.

The allies of UPA government have themselves criticised the decision of the government. The Congress government which rules Kerala state have themselves protested against the Central decision.

"Mexico's retail trade has been completely destroyed after FDI in Multibrand retail trade. India should not do such mistake and should protest against this in time," he stressed.
The Association took out a protest march and stopped their business till 12 noon. A memorandum was sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to reconsider the decision.

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