Few weeks ago, the Government from nowhere took a decision of opening up the retail sector for the Foreign Direct Investment i.e. FDI. The Govt. has got a wide criticism on their surprise decision of inviting Walmart, Tesco and France’s Carrefour to set their malls in the country. This looks odd and is definitely another self-destructing decision by the Government. Even the Opposition is surprised on the decision on FDI and they were not even aware that this is coming. See, the Government do reserves the right to make and implement the decisions, but the decision on FDI will affect the future of our country. The Government has not even consulted the Opposition. This looks really odd and creates some doubt in the mind on the credibility of this UPA Government.
Now the basic and the obvious question arises, ‘Why a Walmart is Needed?’ The Government has a vision that the FDI in Multi Brand Retail Sector will increase the inflow of the Dollar in Indian Economic System. And thus, the huge economic deficit which the Indian Economy in facing will come under control, or rather will decrease. More than 80% of the Crude Oil that we need is imported and is brought in dollars. But in India, the Petroleum Products made from it are sold in Rupees. The value of Rupee has decreased in the last few months. It is more than 53 at present which was well under 50 a year ago. So, the inflow of dollar into the Indian Economy will heal the wounds created by the heavy deficits which the Economy has got in the recent past.
The point here in the opposition of the decision on Walmart is that the countries which have adopted it are not in a very good position either. We are a democratic country and we liberalized our economy to the foreign investment in the year 1991, a very long time after we got the Independence, ‘WHY?’ Because we wanted the domestic retailers to prosper and avoided the risks of freeing the economy to the external(global) forces. Unfortunately, we have not gained anything by delaying the liberalization. There was a time when the BAJAJ Scooters had monopoly in the country and the waiting period for a scooter was 10 YEARS! It seems that the Government is trying to follow the path for development followed by the developed countries like the USA.
If we are trying to follow the path of development followed by the US, then we must keep in mind that the USA is thrice in Geographical Area as compared to us and the population there is one third of ours. So, the density of population there is very low as compared to India. I read an editorial in a newspaper in which the writer mentioned his personal experience on his tour of the US. A resident there told him that to buy even toothpaste; they have to travel 3 kms to the Walmart. The Walmart has destroyed the small retailers there. If this has happened in the US, why can’t it happen in India? It certainly ‘will’! Most of the products in retail Walmart imports from China. Indian markets are, at present, flooded with Chinese products. With the Walmart setting up in the country, this flood will not take long to become a Tsunami.
Indeed, it is not the case that everything will go against us if the decision on the FDI is implemented. It will help us in certain ways to climb up the ladder of development or rather to make a ladder to climb up. As I earlier said, the inflow of the dollars in Indian Economy will boost up the Industrial Production. A large portion of the Agricultural yield gets spoiled because of the lack of the warehouses and the cold storages and to build them we need money. Walmart will build its own warehouses and cold storages, so, in a way, this wastage will not take place and the farmers will be able to sell the entire yield as there will be demand.
But, the risk we have is too much and to take a chance can well work against us, i.e. can divert us from the path of development. For now, the implementation of the FDI is postponed by the Government because of the wide criticism the Govt. has got from a farmer to a retailer, from the opposition to the Socialist Anna Hazare and the vast following he has. But, make no mistake; the decision on FDI is ‘DELAYED’, not ‘DROPPED’. The Government might have postponed it because they have to deal with the LOKPAL BILL in the current Lok Sabha and they don’t want to fight war on all fronts.
May God give the strength to the UPA’s ‘COALITION’ Government to fight this war. But, in the end, the Country should emerge as the winner.
The inspector in this add is doing the same work, the Walmart is expected to do. The Walmart wants only the best quality of food grains, fruits and vegetables.