CPI condemns 51% FDI in retail sector
LUDHIANA: The district unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI) has condemned the decision of the union cabinet to allow 51% FDI in retail as it will hit hard small producers, traders as well as consumers.
The decision came at a time when Parliament was in session, but not taken into confidence. This was in complete violation of democratic principles.
The reaction was obvious as not only the opposition or the UPA allies but also a section of the Congressmen had opposed the decision.
International experience revealed that with the entry of these big players in the retail business, small businessmen would be hit hard, as they would not be able to compete with the big fish. Their sales had gone down in all such areas around the globe.
In India 33-60% of the traditional fruit and vegetable retailers reported 15- 30% decline in footfalls, 10- 30% decline in sales and 20- 30% decline in incomes across the cities of Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh.
The small farmers would be hit as supermarkets would buy only 'A' grade produce, that too on open market- based prices. Moreover, there would be no commitment to buy regularly as they did not wanted to share the risk of growers.
As far as the role of FDIdriven food supermarkets in containing food inflation was concerned, the evidence from the countries of Latin America ( Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina), Africa ( Kenya, Madagascar) and Asia ( Thailand, Vietnam, India) showed that the supermarket prices for fruit and vegetables and other basic foods were higher than those in traditional markets.
Even if it was accepted that supermarkets were able to offer lower prices, the lowincome households might face higher food prices because of reasons of distance from supermarkets and higher prices charged by them.
Secretary Kartar Singh Bowani and assistant secretary Dr Arun Mitra of the CPI (district unit) demanded rollback of the decision.
A monthly agricultural training camp will be organised for the members of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) kisan club, including ladies wing, under the patronage of Dr MS Gill, PAU, director of extension education.
The camp will take place on December 1 at Dr Boralug Wheat Auditorium, PAU. Giving contours, Dr TS Riar, coordinator of the club, said that the experts would equip the trainees with the management and plantation of seasonal flowers and the cultivation of popular.
Besides providing useful marketing tips to the participants, the experts would inform the ladies wing of the care of clothes and on the post harvest handling and processing of medicinal plants.
The president of the club will interact with the farmer members about the facilities available to them through the club.