Stop politicising FDI in retail, look for bigger benefits: CII

New Delhi : Urging opposition parties and state governments to stop politicising the issue of foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, a leading industry body said Monday that allowing global players in the sector will create more jobs and benefit consumers.

“People should stop giving it a political overtone and look for it with the benefit of view to their state, their labour in terms of employment and of course the benefit it offers to the consumers at large,” Thomas Varghese, chief executive officer, Aditya Birla Retail Limited told reporters on the sidelines of a CII event here.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said allowing foreign equity would help organised retail grow to $260 billion by 2020.

According to CII, the move would increase income of producers across sectors by $35-45 billion per year, create 3-4 million jobs with the retail chains and 4-6 million jobs in the logistics sector, other than creating a demand for more contract labour in distribution and repackaging centres and functions such as housekeeping and security.

“People should take a much larger view of this and look at it for what benefit it offers to the country, states and to the people of the states, what happens to consumers and their daily lives in terms of their ability to combat inflation and get on with their lives,” added Varghese who also the heads CII’s national committee on retail.

The cabinet’s decision to open up multi-brand retail has led to a furore with political parties and even a key ally like the Trinamool Congress putting the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on the mat.

Both houses of parliament were adjourned for the day Monday as a united opposition stalled the day’s proceedings protesting the move of the government.

“Let’s look at it from an economy perception not from political view,” said Chandrajeet Banerjee, CII director general.

Political parties have been opposing the reform saying it will wipe out the small retailer. Various trader associations are also against it.

“Being an Indian retailer, I can tell that a lot of these concerns are misplaced. We have seen in the last five years that not a single kirana store has ever shut down. A lot of these concerns are exaggerated and misplaced,” said Varghese.

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