Surajkund (Haryana) Sep 27: The BJP Thursday said it was committed to reforms but rejected foreign equity in multi-brand retail and termed the move as against national interest.
“What goes against the grain of the country is counter-reform and we reject it,” BJP leader Arun Jaitley said while moving the economic resolution at the party’s national council here.
“We are not opposed to reforms but every change is not a reform. Some changes may end up hurting national interest,” he said.
According to the resolution passed by the party’s national council, while foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail would reduce manufacturing sector jobs, no new jobs would be created in the retail segment, as was being claimed by the government.
The government recently allowed 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail, claiming it would do away with middlemen in the supply chain and benefit farmers.
“It is a myth,” said Jaitley.
He said the benefit in this case would go to the foreign retailer and not the farmer.
“International retail will be harmful for job creation is India,” he said.
Countering another government argument that the move would create new jobs in the retail sector, Jaitley said international retail did not create additional jobs but merely displaced existing ones.
He said the government’s argument that the FDI would create back-end operations such as cold chains and roads in rural areas was faulty.
Earlier, BJP president Nitin Gadkari said the party would force the government to roll back its decision in parliament.
The resolution, which talked only about FDI in retail, said it was wrong to cite the example of China, which was a low-cost economy and the largest supplier to big retailers.
Citing the case of Thailand, the resolution said in the first 12 years of opening retail for FDI there, the country witnessed 38 percent consumer market consolidation in the favour of three large retailers.