New Delhi, Aug 29 : The Congress on Thursday, slammed Narendra Modi over the decision to dilute the norms and allowing 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in single brand retail sector and said, the wrong decision will hurt the business and employment of three crore shopkeepers-traders and 15 crore workers in this sector.
"By giving huge discount in FDI rules to foreign companies in single brand retail, the BJP government has inflicted severe harm on Indian shopkeepers and traders. This wrong decision will directly hurt the business and income of about three crore shopkeepers on the one hand, and on the other hand the employment of 15 crore workers will also be under threat", said Randeep Singh Surjewala, AICC communication in-charge in a statement.
He also said, with this decision, there is a danger of reduction in foreign investment coming into the country and added, "it is clear that the huge relaxation in FDI rules given by the Modi government will only serve the interests of big foreign companies and it has nothing to do with small shopkeepers and traders of the country".
Mr Surjewala also alleged that, after relaxation of laws, foreign companies will be able to sell their products directly in the huge Indian market of 130 crores, only by creating a website, and said the "country will suffer the loss".
Earlier, the single brand retail player could sell their products only after opening an outlet in India.
Apart from this, Mr Surjewala alleged that the Modi Government has changed the rule of 30 percent local sourcing for foreign companies in single brand retail to favour these companies and added that "now, the purchase for export has also been included as local sourcing".
"This means that it will no longer be necessary that goods these companies are selling in India be purchased locally. Now onwards, if foreign companies buy and export only 30 percent of India’s goods, then they can sell their entire lot of imported goods in India", he alleged.
He also said, "surprisingly, through this decision, the Modi Government has made a provision for review of local sourcing every five year instead of every year. The single brand retailer can use the goods it will buy from India for global operations to fulfill its 30 percent local sourcing condition from India during the first five years starting from the month of April, that means no questions will be asked from them for the next seven years because for the first two years till the opening of the stores and five years thereafter, there will be no review of their functioning".
The Congress spokesperson pointed out that the 30 percent local sourcing rules implemented earlier was meant to protect the interest of small, medium and rural industries and artisans in India.
"Due to this, foreign companies made them partners in their trade and production, only then those companies could supply their goods in Indian markets. India has the second largest number of small and medium enterprises in the world, which are the main engines of India's economy and employment. More than 15 crore employees are employed in 3 crore medium industries in the country", he said.
He said that after the change in law, small, medium and rural industries and artisans have been hit twice.
While on the one hand, foreign companies will be able to sell their goods in the Indian market directly through online trade, which will make our shopkeepers / traders lag behind big brands and multinational companies, on the other hand they will be directly disadvantaged by the new rules of local sourcing", Mr Surjewala added.
He said that the Congress strongly condemns the Modi government's attack on crores of Indian shopkeepers and small and medium enterprises. (UNI)