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HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 06, 2012
The voices being raised against the government's decision to introduce FDI in retail are many, and the reasons being given are equally numerous.

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury shrugged off criticism over the Left aligning with saffron parties, stating that opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail cannot be viewed through the 'communalism-versus-secularism' prism. 

Stating that the Left has always been one of the staunchest opponents of communalism, Yechury said that CPM's stand on the issue has been consistent - and his party had opposed it even when they were extending outside support to the UPA-I government.

Yechury cautioned that though Walmart may have a lot of capital, Indian farmers and consumers would not benefit from their presence in the country. 

JDU legislator NK Singh, on the other hand, called for the setting up of a national retail regulator.

Stating that gains from the policy looked dubious and exaggerated, Singh pointed out that the "implementation had been entirely left to self-declaration, with no authority that has statutory powers".

He wanted the government to consider creating a national retail regulator to ensure that the model contract agreement between the farmer and the retailers is implemented.

The shrillest protest, however, came from AIADMK leader V Maitreyan, who moved a motion to oppose the FDI move in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

Calling the UPA a "minority government", he questioned its rationale for taking a decision based on something that was an "unproven assessment at best and damn lies at worst".

"Experiences of other countries that implemented multi-brand retail are well documented. But the Congress doesn't want to learn lessons from other countries. Maybe, they want to experience the 'kolaveri' (rage) first-hand," he said.