BANGALORE: “It is unfortunate that we are aping the West’s lifestyle. Multi brand foreign direct investment (FDI) will only destroy the composite society we live in,” opined Indian Farmers Federation leader Prof C Narasimhappa at a symposium on Retail shops vs MNC Malls on Saturday.
Laying stress on the concept of the ‘neighbourhood’ provision stores, Prof Narsimhappa said that FDI in retail posed questions at our independence and conscience. “Currently, we are accustomed to mutual trust that exists between shopkeepers and buyers. We take the liberty of buying stuff on credit. Is that possible when retail shops move into big malls?” he said.
“The claim that multi brand FDI would create more employment is a big hoax. Eighty five per cent of our retail shops are run from small rooms by families for decades. Imagine 1.40 lakh people living off such earning. FDI will mean that they will have to move from being self-employed to working for someone else,” he lamented.
Targeting the government for backing efforts to bring in Walmart into the retail sector, he said, “The government plans to feed 75 per cent of the population cheaply in the Food Security Bill. This allows the MNCs to target the rest 25 per cent,” he said.
Former FKCCI president N S Srinivasa Murthy said, “When we moved from a socialistic to investment economy, it was more respectable. With this FDI, we are only selling ourselves. “We already have malls here. What more can a Walmart do? ,” questioned Murthy.