Swadeshi Jagran Manch calls for nationwide agitation protesting FDI

published on September 16, 2012

It’s shocking that Government of India today September 14, 2012, has opened FDI in multi-brand retail, allowing 51 percent foreign equity in retail business, despite nationwide opposition from different sections including traders, farmers, small scale sector and others. It is known to all that there is no consensus on this issue in the country and not even in the government. This act of the government is devoid of any legitimacy or logic. It is no secret that under the influence of multinational corporations and foreign powers, Government of India has been making all out efforts to pave the entry of multinational corporations into retail sector. In January, 2006 the government opened up the single brand retailing for multinational corporations. These MNCs had already made inroads into the multi brand retailing in the name of cash and carry by backdoor in the guise of wholesale trade. 

Decision of the government to allow the entry of multinationals in multi brand retailing, meaning thereby the entry of Walmart, Tesco, Carrefour, Spencers etc. is a death knell for the small traders, as their existence is at stake. This action of the government clearly
depicts the insensitivity of the government towards 3.3 crore people in the country engaged in the retail, along with another 1.7 crore in subsidiary activities, who are facing a big threat to their existence as MNCs are allowed in this sector. In our country size of the general stores generally varies between 50 square feet and 200 square feet.

Most retail traders do not even have their shops and are forced to carry out their business on pavements, on Rehris, Khomcha etc. and in the process face lot of hassles, harassment and exploitation. But due to lack of any alternative employment avenues they somehow earn their bread from retail business. Even the government support in terms of credit, marketing, warehousing is also inconspicuously absent. These people do not have option of any alternative source of employment.

Swadeshi Jagran Manch expresses its deep anguish for this kind of irresponsible behaviour on the part of the government. It may be noted that Parliamentary Standing Committee had recommended against opening of retail sector for FDI (multinational corporations). Giving scant respect for the recommendations of the apex decision making institution of the country, the government has chosen to appease foreign powers.  

Decision to open foreign investment in retail sector by the government is a reflection of its total insensitivity towards the common man. SJM has decided to launch a nationwide agitation by way of Dharna, Protests, Effigy burning and other democratic methods to force the government to withdraw this anti people decision. SJM once again urges upon the government to give up this insensitivity to the common man and withdraw its decisions to open FDI in retail. We take this opportunity to call upon all nationalist forces, political parties, traders and farmer organisations to oppose this anti people decision to open FDI in retail.

Dr. Ashwani Mahajan  
All India Spokesperson

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