People's Democracy

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


No. 49

December 04, 2011



CITU Calls for Massive Protest Actions


THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has strongly opposed and condemned the government of India’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail. It said the decision has come in the wake of various other decisions relating to the anti-people neo-liberal agenda, like the scuttling of universal PDS, the so called cash transfer on food account etc. This decision about FDI will pave the way for handover of the food economy and its distribution to the corporate and foreign traders, with the government abdicating its responsibility.


The CITU secretariat’s statement, issued from New Delhi on November 26, said such a crucial policy decision has been taken by executive order while the parliament was in session. This retrograde decision also trampled underfoot the unanimous recommendation of the parliamentary standing committee, made in 2009, of not allowing FDI in retail trade.


The government’s decision is also aimed at obliging the multinational companies who, along with their collaborators in India, have been demanding this for a long time. The government of India is trying to convince the people with dubious claims of millions getting new employment opportunities, benefits to agricultural producers, and also of curtailing price rise. In fact, however, FDI led corporate retailing is going to kill much more employment than it may create, besides strengthening the grip of the MNCs on agricultural economy and on the food economy in particular. 


According to the CITU, the experience the world over is completely different, and there is going to be a serious crisis with crores of small traders and their families being thrown out of their subsistence. The decision would directly put in jeopardy the life of more than four crore families who are directly dependent on small scale retail trade. It would also affect the domestic manufacturing while the multinational traders would be free to procure and source their merchandise from foreign countries as well.


The so-called reservation of  30 per cent procurement from small scale and micro enterprises (SMES) gets exposed because of the rider that the SMES need not be Indian that and materials can be sourced from any part of the world.


Though a façade is being built by so called restrictions and conditions for investment in back-end infrastructure, and a claim is being made that this would help our agricultural producers, these are of little consequence or benefit for the farmers as the dictating control would lie with the foreign retail giants, both in respect of infrastructural facilities and procurement prices.


Moreover, all the conditions and regulations claimed by the government are to be based on self-regulation, which is nothing but a fraud on the public.


The CITU has therefore called upon all its state committees and affiliated unions to organise massive protests against this anti-people move of the UPA government and also extend support to the small traders and others who are opposing this retrograde decision.