Ally Trinamool joins BJP, Left in opposing FDI in retail

November 24th, 2011 - 4:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) Even as the union cabinet meets Thursday to decide on allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, key opposition groupings - the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Left - have opposed the move, while the Trinamool Congress, the largest constituent in the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), said it has reservations on the issue.

“I have some reservations, we can express our views, we will express our views when the details will come to us,” Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said in a TV interview Wednesday.

“We don’t support this, I don’t support even the pension scheme also,” Banerjee added.

Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, who belongs to the Trinamool congress, reiterated the party stand Thursday.

Meanwhile,Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and other UPA leaders will meet leaders of the coalition’s allies to sort out the differences, Congress sources said.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had said earlier that the government will try to build consensus on the issue.

The BJP said that the planned FDI decision will worsen the unemployment situation. “Many people will get unemployed due to FDI. We cannot allow this to happen,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters here.

The Left parties also opposed the move for allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Basudeb Acharia told reporters here that the party will oppose the government move inside and outside parliament.

Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta said, “It will lead to the displacement of crores of small retailers in the market. FDI induction will also increase the prices of retail goods.”

According to sources, the cabinet will consider a note allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retailing and raising the FDI ceiling to 100 per cent from the present 51 percent in single-brand retail.

However, Congress sources said the government will take sufficient safeguards to protect small traders and ordinary people from any adverse effect of FDI. The cabinet note proposes FDI only in those cities that have a population of over one million, the sources added.

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