Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley has said the cooperative movement is a more suited retail model to deliver the benefits of a growing consumer market to farmers.
Quoting the example of Amul, Jaitley said at a public meeting here on Saturday that the UPA government’s decision to open the country’s retail sector to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) would only benefit big players and lead to an overall worsening of the situation for small businesses and the unorganised sector.
Jaitley claimed that the FDI experience in retail sector in other countries showed that it only displaced existing jobs and did not produce any new ones. “Close to 20 per cent of our total workforce would be adversely affected as they depend on unorganised retail,” he added.
Jaitley said the policy would see India become a ‘land of sales boys’, as MNCs were known to source internationally from cheaper markets, directly affecting local manufacturing.
“India has not made enough reforms in manufacturing. Our loan rates are high, labour laws are tough and prices of goods produced are also high. Hence, the beneficiaries of FDI in retail would be countries like China, from where goods could be sourced at a cheaper rate,” Jaitley said.
He also criticised the UPA government’s stance that the implementation of the move would be left to the discretion of the States. This was an attempt at hoodwinking regional governments, he claimed, saying States would later be forced to enforce the policy in the name of international treaties.
Jaitey’s comments on the issue come at a time when even the key constituents of the UPA are up in arms against their own government for the decision to allow FDI in the retail sector.
Earlier, reiterating the BJP’s demand for a special investigation monitored by the SC into the coal allocation scam, Jaitley alleged that the Congress, as a party, was a direct beneficiary of the kickbacks from the discrepancies. He also defended the strategy of the BJP to stall Parliament, claiming that the move paid off in the 2G spectrum issue by forcing the government to act.