Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani said on Sunday that Walmart was being allowed in India even as it was facing protests in the US and New York ‘shut Walmart out’.
“On the same Friday (Sep 14) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rolled out the red carpet for Walmart, New York City, America’s largest, shut Walmart out,” Advani wrote in his blog on Sunday.
He also wrote that on the same day as the UPA government “handed the FDI bouquet to Walmart and lobbyists assured that small retailers are safe, Atlanticcities, a web-newspaper from the stable of the famous Foreign Affairs magazine, carried a devastating headline news: ‘Radiating Death: How Walmart Displaces Nearby Small Businesses’.”
“Weeks ago, on June 30, over 10,000 people, shouting ‘Walmart Poverty’, marched through Los Angeles, America’s richest city, against Walmart stores,” Advani said.
“On June 1, hundreds protested in Washington DC against Walmart. ‘Say-No-To-Walmart’ is an ongoing movement all over the United States,” he added.
The BJP leader further recalled an episode from the NDA government, when Congress member Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi had sought clarification from then commerce minister Arun Shourie on plans to allow retail FDI.
“This issue of FDI in retail once occasioned sharp exchanges between BJP and Congress when the NDA government was in office. This happened on Dec 16, 2002,” wrote Advani.
“A leading Congress MP Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, referred to an Economic Times article which had written that on the issue of FDI in retail, the Planning Commission in its draft document of the Tent Plan had affirmed that FDI was required in this sector.
Dasmunshi said that through bureaucrats, multinational retailers are continuously putting pressure on the government to take this anti-national decision of allowing foreign direct investment in the retail trade,” he said.
Walmart hits a wall in New York
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has been thwarted once again in its efforts to open a big-box store in the Big Apple in the face of opposition from local unions much like protesters in India. However, unlike India where opposition to letting in big retailers like Walmart stems from a professed fear that they may kill small stores, it is largely the business model that the company follows that has kept it away from the big cities.