Senior BJP leader and former HRD minister Dr MM Joshi dared Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to have a debate with him on the issue of FDI in retail sector while saying the country needed to adopt a new economic policy for itself in the backdrop of failure of liberalization policy.
“Let the PM have a debate with me on FDI in retail sector or reform. The studies world over have established that such FDI has not benefited farmers, consumers or the country which has allowed it. It has only benefited the giant companies running the show”, said Joshi talking to the Hindustan Times during his visit to the city on Sunday.
Besides FDI in retail sector, Joshi asked, if the liberalization policy or the western economy was so strong and sustainable then why the countries like the US, European countries and even China were facing a serious crisis on the economic front. Why these economies were crumbling and not showing any sign of improvement out of recession”, asked Joshi.
On FDI, Joshi's view is that FDI in retail sector meant multinationals like Wal-Mart opening big malls for consumer items. The fact is Wal-Mart is not welcome now in the USA itself. The plea of the UPA government that FDI in retail sector would provide jobs to more hands is a fallacy. For instance, Wal-Mart's business provided jobs to 25 lakh people whereas the cumulative business of the retail sector in India provides jobs to 5 crore people.
Further, he said, it was wrong to say the states could take their own decision on FDI.After allowing the multinationals from outside it would be difficult to check their growth. The companies would be free to approach the higher courts to allow them to do business in the states which prevented them.
On the former union minister Arun Shourie's approval to the FDI in retail sector Joshi said Shourie's assessment that it would not harm the Indian economy was based on assumption. But the fact was it was going to harm Indian economy in many ways.
Joshi asked if the multinational companies were really interested in giving more jobs to Indian hands and bolstering Indian economy why they did not invest in infrastructure and why they did not invest in construction of cold storages so that the farmers could store their farm products. Indian needed cold storages and warehouses, not the FDI.
He said whether it was the Congress or the BJP or other political parties in the context of India the thinking had to be broadened beyond the parochial view of politics that what the country required today and what could be the best economic policy for the country.
“In my view the only answer to the serious problem is the economic theory as was propounded by Pt Deendayal Upadhyay i.e. integral humanism which is based on swadeshi and humanism,” he added.