BJP moves motion against FDI, pulls up Govt. for going back on its promise
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, who moved the motion for debate on Tuesday, lashed out at the Congress-led UPA Government for going back on its promise for working for a consensus on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.
Asserting that the UPA Government had promised to discuss the matters with all stakeholders, Swaraj said the government has gone back on its assurance to Parliament.
"There were two aspects to the assurances given, consultation and consensus. The government didn't even try for a consensus, leave aside consultation," said Swaraj.
"The then Finance Minister had promised to keep FDI in retail in abeyance till consensus is reached. Unlike the promise made on the floor of the House, the government did not even attempt to bring consensus on FDI in retail. No political party was contacted before taking a decision," she added.
The BJP leader further said the government's argument that FDI in retail will benefit farmers is flawed.
"Big retail chains have failed in several countries. Retail FDI will wipe out the options available to consumers. The retail in control of big firms will wipe out the small consumers FDI will not benefit farmers," she added.
Citing the instances of how potato farmers are forced to throw their potatoes away while McDonald's imports the potatoes it uses, Swaraj further said that there is no guarantee that the retailers will directly take the farmers' produce.
"They say this will end the middle-man system. There are instances where there are no middlemen in India. For example, in the sugar sector, the sugar can farmers are contracted by sugar mills to sell their produce directly to the mills," she added.
The debate is presently being carried out in Lok Sabha under Rule 184, which allows voting.