Nitishji! Don’t Oppose FDI for politics

Fortunately, Shri Nitish is educated in engineering too. Nitish Kumar wants immediate withdrawal of the cabinet decision of FDI in retails. As reported Nitish said, “We are not going to support it at any cost as it will ruin the life and existence of marginal traders, grocers and farmers.”

Let me assure you, Wal-Mart or for that matter any other MNCs in retail will not enter Bihar for next ten years even after the opening by the centre. Reason: Bihar doesn’t have the ambience to do business. Look at the power position. Will any MNC invest in cold storage sector that is already in free list of 100% FDI? Big MNCs in retail will focus on the big cities and will remain few in numbers without disturbing the business of even 1% of small marginal traders and grocers in poorly urbanized Bihar. It has happened in the same way in every country. If Malls have not made the small rural and urban grocers go out of business, MNC will not. And the MNC stores will never be cheaper. MNC stores are normally huge in well connected locations with sufficient parking areas and lot of customers visiting it on off days

Most importantly, FDI in retail will certainly eliminate four to five or perhaps more middlemen that are present at different levels between the manufacturers and the final users. It is these middlemen who get benefitted with almost no values addition. FDI will also enable farmers, artisans and craftsmen to get better quality of inputs and its application techniques and improve the quality of the output to global level.

It is unfortunate that when the retail traders keep on helping the inflation to increase resulting in the worried consumers spending much more than the price at which the commodities were bought from the farmers or the manufacturers.

Please hear what a farmer of Bihar’s famous litchi says, ““I sell my litchi to the first middleman at Rs 21 per kg. Passing through different layers of middle-level retailers and transporters, the commodity is sold at the rate of about Rs 200 per kg in south Indian markets and at Rs 400 and even more in London and Dubai markets. In the process, the producers and the consumers are the biggest losers.”

I am from Bihar and love the fruit, but I can hardly buy it at that exorbitant price in Noida. Many must be having the similar experience.

Can you or for that matter any government ensure that the due share of the exorbitant price the traders make the customers pay through various tricks of trade such as creating scarcity and illegal hoarding to the farmers? If you can arrange that for the farmers, I shall agree to your opposition against FDI.

Before opposing FDI, you are to do some real research and decide wisely if it will really affect the small trader and the farmer in reality.

However, the government must help the small farmers and manufacturers in negotiating the price of their produce with the big retailers, be the domestic or foreigners, if there are complaints. Normally the organized OEMs always make the small vendors the minimum through rigorous negotiation.

Please don’t oppose FDI for political reasons. It’s a big reform, please allow it to come. After all we expect a rational decision from a technocrat.

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