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Home Food Information News Flash FDI in Retail, More Debate

FDI in Retail, More Debate

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Business Standard, December 2.

Isolated voices of support to FDI
BS Reporter / New Delhi December 02, 2011, 0:48 IST

The opposition to the government approval to FDI in multi-brand and single-brand retail has been widespread among farmer groups but there are isolated voices willing to see merit in the policy provided certain conditions are applied.

Industry outfit Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations (CIFA) and Sharad Joshi’s Shetkari Sanghatna have supported the proposal. Bharat Krishak Samaj (BKS) known as an affiliate of the ruling Congress party has come with a conditional support for the policy. BKS president Ajay Jakhar says it would open the doors to competition among buyers of agricultural produce, improving the lot of farmers. He has just one condition for supporting the FDI: That 75 per cent of the produce sold by retailers should be directly bought from producers.  December 2

The recent Cabinet decision to allow 51 per cent foreign direct investment in the multi-brand retail sector in India has deeply divided the nation's political, social and trading classes.

The main opposition -- the Bharatiya Janta Party and the Left parties, alongside with DMK and TMC -- has vehemently opposed FDI in retail in India. Parliament has been stalled over this issue.

However, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry have not only supported the government's move, that will in many ways revamp the retail sector, but also argued that the induction of foreign investors in the segment will benefit both the consumer and the small traders in the long run.

The CII, India's largest and most influential trade lobby, has recommended a calibrated approach for introducing foreign investment in the retail sector in terms of the percentage and minimum capitalisation requirements.

Hindustan Times.  December 1

With the Parliament stalled over a week over Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, planning commissioner deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia accused the opposition of trying to create a "political opportunity" not grounded in "sound economy".

For him, FDI in multi-retail brand will act as a stimulus to modernisation of food chain and will benefit consumers, who will get produce at lesser price and farmers, who will get more money.  This, according to him, will happen with wiping out of agents at all levels in the entire food chain.

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