The Opposition on Tuesday made a strong plea to immediately withdraw the proposal to allow 51% Foreign Direct investment in multi-brand retail. The government however justified the proposal saying states are not bound to implement it.
Initiating a discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail in the Lok Sabha, leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj charged the government with not consulting all stake holders despite assurance to Parliament. Citing of other countries Swaraj alleged that the decision will create massive unemployment and may harm the interest of small farmers and business people.
Strongly defending the government decision information technology and communication minister Kapil Sibal said, FDI in retail will help boost the medium and small industries in creating jobs. He said the policy aims at enabling the farmers in getting higher prices for their produce in time. He charged the BJP with adopting dual standards on the FDI issue.
Samajwadi party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said FDI in retail is not in national interest. He alleged this will lead to unemployment and urged the government to withdraw it.
Dhara Singh Chauhan, BSP, said no hasty decision will be useful. Opposing the move, he suggested that it may first be experimented in the Congress-ruled states. He indicated that his party will take an appropriate decision on the issue when it comes up for voting. T. K. S. Elangovan, DMK, said although his party is opposed to FDI, it will not vote against the move. Basudeb Acharya, CPM, said FDI in retail will only add to unemployment. The discussion will continue Wednesday.