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FDI in retail draws countrywide protests

Amritsar, Tue, 29 Nov 2011 ANI

Amritsar/Jaipur/Coimbatore, Nov 29 (ANI): Political parties and traders across the country continue to protest over the Central Government's decision to approve 51 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.


In Amritsar, activists of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demonstrated and shouted against ruling Congress party and its leaders including its Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.


Talking to reporters here, BJP lawmaker Navjot Singh Sidhu said that the government is playing into the hands of multinational conglomerates.


"They (government) did not consult even in the standing committee, they only took it to the cabinet and they wanted to get it passed. No discussions were held over it in the parliament with the representatives of the people. They brought this legislation from a back door entry and they are trying to sell India to the big multinational companies," he added.


He further said his party would not allow any multinational to invest in retail as per the new bill in the 11 BJP-run states.


"We will take to streets in support of the traders in all the 11 states and we will not allow Wal-Mart or any other company to invest 51 percent in FDI in retail," added Sidhu.


Meanwhile, BJP workers demonstrated during the inauguration of Carrefour store at Vishwakarma Industrial Area in Jaipur.


They marched to the store and set on fire an effigy representing the central government.


On the other hand, while interacting with mediapersons, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot assured that the legislation will only be implemented in the states keeping in mind the welfare of farmers, traders and consumers.


"The government's intentions are good. Discussions have been going on for last 10-15 years on this issue and now finally a big decision has been taken. So all the state governments will allow this legislation after seeing about the welfare of the people because it depends on the state government in which form they will implement it. We will examine it and then implement it in a way that it benefits the farmers and consumers, as this is the time of inflation and it will be our endeavour that they get relief. Small or big shop owners they do not need to get worried over this," said Gehlot.


In Coimbatore, activists of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) expressed their opposition to the retail bill.


They claimed the retail move would cost millions of small shopkeepers' vocation.


A Cabinet decision to this effect was taken last Thursday, and if the proposal sees the light of day, it would allow global retailers like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco to open outlets in India.


The Cabinet also decided to remove the 51 per cent cap on FDI in single brand format under which companies in food, lifestyle and sports business run stores. Owners of brands like Adidas, Gucci, Hermes, LVMH and Costa Coffee can now have full ownership of business in India.


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.


It is the sum of equity capital, reinvestment of earnings, other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in the balance of payments. It usually involves participation in management, joint venture, transfer of technology and expertise. (ANI)


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