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FDI in retail: ‘Govt. has been betraying Parliament’, alleges D. Raja

New Delhi, Sept 14 (ANI): Describing the Congress-led UPA Government’s move to allow 51 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail to be a disastrous move, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja on Friday said decisions such as these are not only anti-people, but are against the interest of the nation as a whole.

Raja said that the CPI would continue to oppose the FDI in multi-brand retail trade.

“We will oppose these decisions because these decisions are disastrous. In fact, the FDI in multi-brand retail trade, the issue was raised inside the Parliament. There was uproar during the Budget Session of Parliament. The government assured that before taking any decision it would consult all stakeholders, including the chief ministers,” said Raja.

“Where was the consultation? Where is the consensus? How come the government decides to allow FDI in multi-brand retail trade? Politically, morally this government has been betraying the Parliament and its commitment made in Parliament,” he added.

Raja further said that economically allowing FDI in multi-brand retail trade would lead to loss of jobs for millions of people.

“According to the data, the present retail sector is contributing 8 to 10 percent of GDP; that will be adversely affected by allowing FDI in multi-brand retail trade. Thirdly, this decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail trade will adversely affect the small and regional farmers and their interest,” said Raja.

“Economically this is a disastrous move that is why are opposing this decision and we will continue to oppose this decision,” he added.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs earlier today approved 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail.

The CCEA, headed by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, also relaxed norms for foreign direct investment in the aviation sector, thereby allowing international airlines to invest in domestic peers.

In November last year, the government had approved 51 percent FDI in multi-brand. This was, however, put on hold due to political opposition, including from UPA constituent Trinamool Congress.

The government had earlier proposed to allow the 450 billion dollars supermarket sector to foreign firms such as Wal-Mart, but had suspended the decision to allow such investment in multi-brand retailing due to opposition from several parties, including some UPA allies.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has 16 Lok Sabha MPs and is the second-largest member of the ruling UPA coalition, has so far opposed the FDI in key sectors like retail, insurance and aviation.

She had earlier claimed that FDI in these sectors would be harmful for the people of the country. (ANI)