People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 22

June 03, 2007

‘Frame National Policy To Regulate Organised Sector In Retail Trade’

CPI(M) Releases Its Proposal For Discussion


THE Communist Party of India (Marxist) has released a 6-page proposal for a ‘National Policy on Regulation of Organised Sector in Retail Trade’ and sought wide discussions on it from all political parties, organisations and people of the country.


Party general secretary Prakash Karat releasing the document at a media conference at AKG Bhavan on May 30 said that since the organised corporate sector was making huge forays into retail trade, the CPI(M) proposal sought stringent regulations on it.


The central committee meeting held in April this year had decided to bring out a position paper on the need to regulate organised sector in retail trade. Since this was a new area for the country, government and political parties, it took some time in formulating this proposal by the Party. He reminded about the Left parties strong opposition to the entry of FDI in retail trade and their efforts in the last three years to convince the government. But with the indigenous corporate sector entering this sector in a big way during this period, the threat of loss of jobs and livelihood to lakhs of people involved in retail and petty trade cropped up.


In this situation the CPI(M) was placing this proposal and Karat underlined that the Party would like to hear views of all other political parties – not just the ruling parties – on this important issue. He cautioned that this proposal is not the final position of the CPI(M) on this issue as this was a new area.


In response to a question Karat clarified that the Party has not talked with the government on this issue so far. Asked whether the Party run governments in Bengal and Kerala would go ahead and implement the proposals, he said this proposal is for a national policy. “Although Bengal and Kerala have reservations about the current proliferation of organised retail trade, what is required is a national policy to regulate this”, he said. Karat hoped that the Party would be able to build a wider agreement among political parties on this proposal.


On the brutal police firing in Dausa in Rajasthan, Karat reminded how the BJP raised a hue and cry on Nandigram incident and asked the party to spell out what action it proposed to take against its state government in Rajasthan. He strongly condemned the latest heavy-handed police repression in the state in which 14 people were killed.


Karat also informed the media about the improved performance of the Party in the bye-elections to Bengal panchayat bodies. He said the Party has improved in West Medinipur district in which falls Nandigram area as also in Singur area. He noted that this was despite the mahajot formed by Congress-BJP-Trinamul Congress and other anti-CPI(M)” forces.


The Left Parties have been strongly opposed to the entry of MNCs in Retail Trade. Meanwhile several Indian corporate houses have entered the retail sector and are expanding their operations aggressively. These developments in the retail sector are having an adverse impact on the livelihoods of a large section of people who are engaged in unorganized retail across the country. In this backdrop the CPI(M) is putting forward a proposal to adopt stringent regulations on the organized sector in retail trade.



The CPI (M) proposal is being sent to all political parties and other organizations. The UPA Government should consider the proposals to regulate organized retail seriously and take immediate initiatives to frame a national policy in this regard.