Nagpur News: Ahead of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh holding a meeting today with senior Cabinet Ministers on issue of higher cap of FDI in various sectors including Multi Brand Retail, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), apex body of the business community of the Country has cautioned the Government to desist any move to increase FDI cap in Multibrand retail.
B. C. Bhartia, National President and Praveen Khandelwal, National Secretary General of the CAIT said that any such move will have a huge negative effect on national economy and will ruin the domestic trade of the Country. CAIT has committed to mobilising tens of millions of voters against the policy, and has vowed to rally against the Congress party in the upcoming state and national elections. “It is a question of the survival of our people. We will not rest till this policy is reversed,” vowed Praveen Khandelwal.
Instead of hike in FDI cap, the Government should draw a National Trade Policy for retail trade to upgrade the existing format of retail and wholesale trade and make it compatible to meet the global challenges. More than five crore traders in retail trade are competent enough to rejuvenate the economy and there is absolutely no need of any FDI in retail.
Both Bhartia and Khandelwal said that Arvind Mayaram panel which has recommended the increase in FDI cap has not studied the matter in depth and neither any consultations were held with the stakeholders. On the other hand Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industries and other Committees are already examining the issue whereas the RBI amendments in FEMA Act are yet to be passed by the Rajya Sabha which is essential to give legal effect to the earlier notification of the Government. The stakeholders and almost all political parties including parties supporting UPA have expressed their opposition to FDI in multibrand retail. Under such circumstances, it will be undemocratic if any decision is taken to hike FDI cap in multibrand retail.
The CAIT in unequivocal terms has said that any hike in FDI in multibrand retail will have to face a nationwide agitation by the traders, farmers, hawkers, labourers, transporters, small industries, consumers and other retail stakeholders.