In a letter written to Himachal Chief Minister, CPIM has urged the goverment not to allow FDI in multi brand retail in hill state.
CPIM leader and member state secretariat Tikender Singh Panwar said that there are reports from a section of the media that has quoted one of your senior ministers saying that the doors for FDI in multi-brand retail in Himachal Pradesh will be opened soon.
He said this decision of opening FDI in retail in the county was opposed by cross section of the people including all the major political parties. Even the Congress during the NDA regime was opposed to the opening of this sector. We on behalf of CPIM request you to not to allow this important sector being usurped by corporate giants.
He said that the Indian retail sector is the second largest employer in the country after agriculture. “Even in the state of Himachal it contributes in large scale employment. It employs over 4 lakh persons in the state. Most of these are small unorganised or self-employed retailers. Entry of MNC supermarket and hypermarket chains would cause severe displacement of these small and unorganised shopkeepers and traders,” he added.
CPIM claimed that the entry of the giant Wal-Mart supermarket chain would have a disastrous impact
He said that the rules announced by the central government for FDI in multi-brand is designed to serve the interests of MNCs like Wal-Mart, TESCO and Carrefour. The investment floor of $ 100 million (R. 550 crore) is insignificant for the giant retailers like Wal-Mart which are multibillion companies. Furthermore, the rules provide that in states/Union Territories not having population of more than 10 lakh, foreign retail outlets may be set up in cities of their choice. Thus foreign supermarkets can be set up in all parts of the country and in a wider range of urban centres.He urged the Himachal government not to open up the retail trade to FDI any further as many state governments have also stated their opposition.