The members of the Legislative Assembly on Friday voiced strong protests against the Centre’s move to allow FDI in the retail sector.
KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala minced no words in his criticism against the Centre’s move.
“Four crore people are employed in the retail sector in the country. Once the global retail giants established monopoly, the fallout will be disastrous. Even if you look at Indian monopoly Reliance, farmers who were supported earlier by the business house had reaped rich profits. Later, it was to the contrary,” he said.
Ramesh was also virulent in his criticism against the Union Commerce Ministry. “The ministry is adopting a policy in favour of the MNCs. It is not correct,” he said and added that he had brought the concerns to the attention of the Prime Minister in writing.
Unchecked conversion of agricultural land for nonagricultural purposes is fuelling the food crisis and overdependence on MNCs. On showcasing China as a model for FDI in the retail sector, the KPCC president said that the comparisons between India and the Land of the Dragon is out of place.
“China is a manufacturing economy whereas Indian economy is basically agrarian. In China, MNCs like Wall Mart are forced to purchase 70 percent of its agricultural production. It is a different scenario,” he opined.
“I’m not against economic reforms. But it should have a human face. It should be for the people,” Ramesh insisted.
M Chandran (CPM) felt that the UPA-II government’s pro-imperialist policies have accentuated the crisis. He also brought the stance of Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma that Kerala is for FDI in the retail sector to the attention of the House.
Summing up the concerns of the state, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that Union Commerce Minister had denied his statement on Kerala and maintained that he was misinterpreted by the media.
“Kerala has a lot of reservations on the FDI issue. The state has even declined permission to hold the meet of finance ministers of southern states when the agenda on FDI was known.
The state will not allow FDI in retail in the state,” he said categorically.