Moving the motion in the Rajya Sabha against allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, AIADMK leader V Maitreyan said that the Centre seemed to be eager to invite the people’s ‘kolaveri’ (violent streak) by its insistence on the proposal, which detrimental to the manufacturing sector.
“If FDI is so beneficial, why is it limited to 53 cities? Why isn’t it extended to rural brethren? The answer is obvious, the MNCs are not interested in our rural markets,” he added.
“I do not know why the US and MNCs have such profound impact on UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi,” said the AIADMK leader.
He claimed that the government was misleading with its claims that the entry of foreign retail giants will lead to local manufacturers getting a boost and providing employment to 10 million.
“But the government is not explaining how many people will lose jobs by allowing FDI in retail. About 90 per cent of total jobs in India is in the unorganised sector and 40 million people are in the retail sector, and they will be uprooted,” he said.
“Experiences of other countries that implemented the FDI in multi-brand retail is well documented and publicised. But the Congress doesn’t want to learn lessons from them. Maybe they want to experience the ‘kolaveri’ first hand,” Maitreyan said.
Describing the government as a ‘minority’, he said that the UPA had not been able to muster the ‘magic number’ of 272 (simple majority in the Lok Sabha) in either of the major debates on the Lokpal Bill, price rise or the FDI.
He pointed out that a year ago, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had promised not to take a decision on FDI until consultation with all stakeholders.“Till date, the minority UPA has not taken steps to call a meeting of all chief ministers or an all-party meeting,” he said.
Noting that the Prime Minister had been against FDI when he was out of power, he expressed surprise over the UPA chairperson’s changed views. He asserted that under the rule of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the Tamil Nadu government will “never ever” allow FDI in multi-brand retail in the state. Maitreyan accused Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj party of “giving a fresh lease of life” to the UPA regime, by abstaining from the Lok Sabha vote, thereby allowing the motion against FDI to be defeated.
The AIADMK leader also criticised the DMK, referring to their “flip-flop” on the topic.