The Centre has decided to hold back foreign direct investment in retail for the time being , but the confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), an association of traders fears that if they are allowed in, foreign retailers would jack up prices of various commodities and destroy the existing supply chain.
The retailers would cartelise the supply chain and gain control of pricing, the traders said.
"Consumers and traders will be at the receiving end if the UPA decides to introduce FDI in the retail sector," said BC Bhartia, national president of CAIT. "International traders never face genuine competition but follow a policy of concentration of goods and dominance."
Bhartia, a professional chartered accountant with a family business background, said once the existing supply chain is destroyed the large retailers would exploit the situation.
The trader’s body has been demanding a complete roll-back of the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail. It is not willing to accept even 26% or 49% foreign stakes.
Taking a dig at the Congress, Bhartia told PTI, “...it was the Congress which had opposed FDI (in retail) when the NDA government wanted to allow it.”
Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general CAIT, added: “Foreign investors have the capacity to incur huge losses for a long time... small traders will be wiped out.”
He dismissed the argument that state governments could stall the FDI move. “Big retailers will buy out companies that operate in several states... this will allow them to enter even states opposed to FDI,” he said.