|AGP opposes FDI in retail|
GUWAHATI, Sept 24 – The Asom Gana Parishad today criticized the Union Government’s decision to allow FDI in the retail sector, describing it as a step that would adversely affect farmers and create mass unemployment while diverting wealth to a few rich entities such as Walmart and Tesco.
In a statement released to the media, party president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta mentioned the measure as a gift to the USA at the expense of Indian businessmen engaged in the retail trade. According to him, business worth billions of dollars will be channeled to US entities as a result of FDI in multi-brand retail.
Mahanta stated that according to the Congress, FDI in retail will help farmers by eliminating middlemen. In his view it was wrong as previous experiences had shown that similar measures in food processing had actually harmed the interest of farmers. Two to three years after the advent of some international giants in the food processing business farmers were left high and dry, he added.
The AGP asserted that there would be no level playing field once FDI in retail became a reality in India. The mega marts which will become players have the option of receiving soft loans, whereas for Indian entrepreneurs the loans came at a much higher rate.
Moreover, the strong economic power of big chains enabled them to purchase branded items in bulk, which will have an advantage over Indian products.
The party pointed out that at least five crore retailers and their families were dependent on their businesses. They will be the worst hit when FDI in retail makes its presence felt across the country.
Opposing FDI in retail, the party condemned it as a move that is likely to create more unemployment as existing local business becomes overshadowed by big brands.