FDI in retail trade: CPI(M) threatens country-wide agitation

FDI in retail trade: CPI(M) threatens country-wide agitation

Voicing strong opposition to the decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in single retail, CPI(M) today threatened to launch a nation-wide agitation if the government goes ahead with its move to permit it in multi brand retail.

"After allowing 100 per cent FDI in the single brand, as the Prime Minister himself stated, after the assembly elections are over, they would like to go for FDI in general retail trade as a whole.

"We would like to tell the government that this widespread opposition to FDI in retail trade is due to the shopkeepers and small traders, their livelihood being threatened by the entry of big multi-national chains. Our party has decided that if the government goes ahead with this FDI in retail, we shall conduct a country-wide movement to stop such retail chains opening their shops and supermarkets in India," CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat told reporters here.

Maintaining that the Food Security bill brought in by the Centre had several objectionable features, he demanded that major amendments be made to it.

"If you look at the Bill, it is actually curtailing that right (to food). In states like Andhra, Tamil Nadu and many others, rice is available through PDS, either at two rupees or one rupee a kilo. Here in the law it says, we will give rice at three rupees a kilo for BPL category," Karat said.

"Those above poverty line, they have been called general sector. They will get rice at half the minimum support price. It will mean that they will have to pay much more than what they are paying today. They will get only three kilos per head per month. This is curtailing the right to food, not giving food security. There are so many other objectionable features in the bill," he said.