Terming foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail as a 'black law' that would 'kill the farmers' and destroy the livelihood of small traders, the Samajwadi Party (SP) Thursday said that the party will abstain from voting in Rajya Sabha on Friday and asked the government to 'think over the issue again'.
"The FDI will kill the farmers and destroy the livelihood of small traders. This is a black law (kaala kanoon) and should not be passed. The government must rethink this proposal," the party's Naresh Agrawal said in the Rajya Sabha during a debate on FDI in multi-brand retail.
"If only big industries thrive here, the country will not move forward. We need the small and marginal traders, producers, farmers... stop this air-conditioned thinking," he added.
Slamming the government's claim that the foreign players will benefit the farmers, Agrawal said the farmers don't need cold chains but subsidies, seeds, water, electricity and a proper market where they can sell their produce at fair prices.
According to Agrawal, brands like Wal-Mart would end up bringing in Chinese products in India and end the business of local traders and craftsmen.
"What is the guarantee that after FDI is brought in, Wal-Mart will not bring in cheap Chinese products? If everything starts coming in from China, then where will the craftsmen in our villages go and the traders," he said.
"America will never want India to develop... it only loves the market here. Don't let another East India Company enter the country," he added.