Ruling without caring for farmers great tragedy, says Moily
Kolkata, July 24 (IANS) With the Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party strongly opposing opening up of country's retail trade to FDI, Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily Tuesday said it a "great tragedy" that these parties are interested in running governments without taking care of the interests of farmers and consumers.
As the Trinamool supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee remained firmly opposed to allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said his Samajawadi Party also had reservations over the measure before addressing farmers' issues.
The SP, Left parties and the Janata Dal-Secular recently shot off a joint letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asking the government not to open up retail trade to FDI any further.
On the back of that, Moily took a dig at the parties, in an oblique reference, saying: "I do not think anybody can oppose it. Reforms indicates change, reforms come out with innovations. Are you not interested in farmers? Are you not interested in consumers?
"Any political party - I am asking you. If you are interested in running the government without taking care of those problems (demand-supply gap), that would be the greatest tragedy."
Moily claimed that FDI in retail would bring down existing demand-supply gap in present market conditions and ensure a win-win situation both for farmers and consumers.
"Demand and supply should be connected. But in the present market conditions we may not take care of the interests of the farmers and consumers. Farmers should get a better price and consumer should get a reasonable price. That is why FDI in retail is envisaged," the minister said at an interactive session organised by the MCC Chamber of Commerce here.
West Bengal Consumer Affairs Minister Sadhan Pande, who was also present at the interactive session, however, said: "Unless there is consensus, it (FDI in retail) cannot come. And we are opposed to certain things."
"The minister is very free to say that he wants to implement. But he has to have the consensus of parliament. And if that is not available, then he will be not able to do it," Pande, also a senior Trinamool Congress leader, told reporters on the sidelines.
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