Congress party on Wednesday criticised the Modi Government’s decision to allow 100 per cent FDI through automatic route in most of e-commerce retailing, saying it would “play havoc” with 5 crore retailers in the country already facing the brunt of economic slowdown.
The decision by the Modi dispensation would “harm” the interests of the country and especially hit small businessmen, Congress Party Spokesperson Anand Sharma told reporters.
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sharma, who is also former Union Commerce Minister said when the Congress-led UPA government had decided to open the country to multi-brand retail to help boost the economy, he (Modi) as Gujarat Chief Minister was at the forefront to oppose it.
According to PTI, Sharma claimed that while the previous UPA government had taken all precautions to protect small businessmen, Tuesday’s decision has come as a bolt from the blue for small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs).
Meanwhile, the CPI-M too on Wednesday dubbed the Government’s move “an outright surrender to the big foreign e-commerce retail firms” and demanded it be immediately rescinded.
“This is clearly announced to appease foreign capital on the eve of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s US visit,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist said in a statement. “It is also a surrender to the pressures of the EU (European Union) keeping in mind the ongoing Free Trade Agreement talks with EU and the prime minister’s visit to Brussels,” the statement read.
The RSS’ economic wing, the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), too has objected to the new policy and guidelines, saying the move would kill SMEs and give legitimacy to law-breakers.
The SJM had in January, sought a law prohibiting FDI in e-commerce. They have now decided to launch a protest demanding a reversal of the decision.
Trader’s body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has also opposed the Government’s decision. As per them, the policy will give a back door entry to global players and will have a serious impact on the SMEs.
“It is a deeply regretted (decision)…It is an irony that Prime Minister Narendra Modi time and again advocating empowerment of small businesses whereas on the other hand regular steps are being taken to disarm the traders from their business activities,” a CAIT spokesperson was quoted by The Economic Times as saying.