The Centre's hopes for a split in the ranks of BJP-ruled states dashed as the Narendra Modi government on Monday decided to oppose the FDI in the country's vast retail sector, describing it as against the national interest. A statement issued by the state government stressed that Modi subscribes to the view expressed by the central BJP leadership on the issue.
Supporters of Modi have made it clear that his stand is not just because of the Congress versus BJP battle. It has more to do with the fact that the Centre had "totally" ignored proposals for safeguarding small retailers, they said.
These proposals were made by the Gujarat government in June 2010 in response to the Centre's communication, seeking comments on a report of the parliamentary standing committee on commerce. Modi's decision to oppose the FDI in retail comes in spite of the entry of organised players into the retail sector in Gujarat.
Modi's stance is that the proposed move announced by the union government would result in "dislocating small and unorganised retailers and will lead to unemployment which is against the national interest."
As his government puts it, there are plus and minus of domestic and foreign players entering into lucrative retail trade and, therefore, a comprehensive study is required to assess its impact.
Even domestic retailers, who indulge in predatory pricing, should be debarred from the market, it said.
Moreover, it favoured a "cooperative marketing methodology" to protect the interest of small retailers.