People's Democracy

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


No. 23

June 05, 2011

 No FDI in Multi-Brand Retail


The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) issued the following statement on May 28, 2011.


THE Polit Bureau strongly opposes any move to allow FDI in multi-brand retail trade as suggested by the Inter-Ministerial Group on Inflation, headed by the chief economic advisor.


Having utterly failed to curb the relentless increase in prices of essential commodities, the move is to utilise that very failure to push for more concessions to multinational companies like WalMart. The specious arguments put forward that entry of MNC retail giants like WalMart will enhance the efficiency of the supply chain and bring down the trading margins belie the international experience which shows that any state regulation of these giant retailers are always rendered ineffective. In fact, MNCs will enjoy much greater monopoly power over both farmers and consumers and will manipulate prices to their benefit while, at the same time, the livelihood of millions of small unorganised retailers will be virtually wiped out.


This is yet another instance of pro-MNC neo-liberal framework which will badly affect the Indian people. It is shocking that the Group of Ministers has refused to accept the Supreme Court direction to strengthen the public distribution system and distribute foodgrains to the people which is also one of the ways of controlling market prices. It is to be noted that the Inter-Ministerial Group has not suggested any meaningful step to curb food inflation, like enhancing agricultural productivity or stepping up public investment in storage and transportation. Options like strengthening the PDS and banning future trade in essential commodities are also being ignored.


The CPI(M) calls upon other political parties and organisations to protest against this retrograde move.