CAIT alleges, major deviations in FDI policy to benefit MNCs
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has said that the government has permitted to open front end retail stores immediately but has given a time period of 3 years to develop backend infrastructure.
CAIT National President B. C. Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal has informed that as per the policy announced on 20th September, the Govt. has allowed FDI in Multi Brand Retail Trade in all products but under disguise of fresh agriculture produce, it has permitted sale of grains and pulses in loose (unbranded) which is a major diversion from the earlier policy.
This will directly attack the business of small Kirana Stores. This step has enough indication that the Government has a clear intention of allowing global players to do business in non- branded items also at a later stage.
Khandelwal further said that though government is making statements that development of backend infrastructure is first priority. It is also not clear that whether these FDI?s will have to be owners of backend infrastructure or they will do it indirectly and claim that they have invested in it.
Surprisingly establishment of cold storage and running of cold transport chain do not figure in list of backend infrastructure. Constantly the Government is referring to wastage of fruits and vegetables as a major issue and therefore seeking immediate requirement of Cold Storage but it appears that the same has been intentionally not referred to in the policy while defining backend infrastructure. It creates a major doubt on the intention of the Government.
The trade leaders further said that the Government has publicized that the retail outlets will be in cities with population of more than 10 lakhs. But in notification it is mentioned that MNCs can set up retail stores in the cities of their choice in such states which do not have population of 10 lakhs as per 2011 Census which means that MNCs will have a free hand to set up their retail stores anywhere in India.The trade leaders further said that in the backend infrastructure the policy has a mention of agriculture market produce infrastructure which is very dicey and needs to be defined.
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