FDI in ‘Super Market retail’ not in Petty-shop and Merchant retail:
Dr. E. M. Sudarsana Natchiappan M P
There is a misnomer in using economic terms ‘FDI in Retail’ as if it is FDI in Petty Shop and Merchant- Grocery shops Retail out let.
It happened because the middle men and brokers who fix the price in India by their cartel and mandi’s are easily making the common man to divert the opinion against government.
FDI in retail:
FDI in retail was already in existence by the Government policy formulated and implemented by NDA / BJP regime when Murasoli Maran was the Minister of Commerce, followed by election manifesto of BJP.. The camel was allowed to enter into the tent as it was good for the some group of traders who were assessing that Indian made goods with foreign brand had demand in Indian market more so if it was sold in exclusive shop. One have to understand many of the goods are made or assembled through Asian countries including India and branded in American or European corporate name.Since the products have been lifted near by production centres the price of the product could bear the discount which attracts the customer in Indian market . This great philosophy was followed during the NDA regime when the prices of raw material and semi finished materials were increased by the traders with the connivance of the government. Take for example Steel price in the year 2000 was Rs1200 per ton was increased to Rs 20,000. There was no justification for such an increase. Simultaneously the ores , minerals and natural resources export price was also increased and huge quantity ores and minerals were exported to China and finished products carried Indian corporate brand or Foreign Brand which were imported to the domestic market. It is the same case in cotton and other agricultural products too. Hence the concession for exports and less costly imports in foreign brand helped the traders to earn more with nil investment.
Collapse of Indian GDP in production :
This is the main reason for decrease in industrial production in India. The Indian corporates were happy to invest in China and finally ended in getting finished products made in Chinese factories as the labour laws were not applicable in Chaina.
Black marketing and adulteration :
The black marketing, hoarding and adulteration are the bunch of poisons in civil society. People suffered physically, financially and pathologically due to these evil. During Indra Gandhi’s 20 point programmes the issues were addressed and controlled by effective legal measures through State Governments by enforcing Essential commodities Act , Price Listing mechanism etc., . But now the State Governments which are shy of taking action against these violator of law and intermediaries and brokers. Hence for example Farm gate price of Tomato in Dindukal -Tamilnadu Rs 5 but which costs Rs 50 when it reaches consumer in Delhi. But the wastage of produce due to the absence of cold storage chain is huge to the level of 40 to 60%. The worst sufferers are farmers and consumers.Investment in Cold storage Chain Government has announced very attractive subsidy for cold storage chain through the Ministry of Food processing. There are very few takers. But the FDI flow will fill up the gap making Farmers products competitive and consumer gets all material in discount with out loosing nutrient content. In certain agricultural products the FDI will help to pre harvesting and post harvesting Management by latest technological know how which gives assured crop and price to producer/ farmer. The wastage of agricultural and horticultural products will be minimised and some times eliminated by better Management. This applies to small and medium farmers.This aspects will spur for export of surplus produce after satisfying domestic demands .
Why there is hue and cry:
Now a days the PolitIcal parties want to maintain ‘No change’ attitude since they inherently feel that change will bring new thinking and new movement which will change the ‘status Que.’ parties . Further it will face the change in the party leadership to survive.This is one of the inherent weakness of the Vision less leadership of some parties. The Chinese Communist leaders Visualised the change around the world . Hence they calibrated their Party to meet the changes . But in India the black marketeers, brokers , intermediaries and law violators are funding all class of parties for creating barriers thinking that they survive by this lobbying. But they never thought that they are facing the tsunami of change happening around the world.
Soft Drinks Market Monopolised:
Some people cite the example of coca cola and pepsi which took away the market of the domestic producers. This is totally different . If every state government started to price the water as a natural resource and tax the commercial use this could have been controlled. These companies are not bringing water from foreign country . Indian water used by putting some chemicals and sold to indian market in exorbitant price while India’s thirsty millions ask for clean water..Mahathma Gandhi’s ‘salt sathiyagraha ‘ model is very much needed to fight against this exploitation. But FDI in Super Market cannot be correlated to soft drink since the products are Indian and consumers are Indians but the cold storage chain investment is alone in FDI. In all other aspects aggregator FDI retailer replaces intermediaries such as Market traders,wholesaler,and sub- wholesaler who add their commissions for ‘nil’ investment or technology or knowhow. The other street vendor, Petty shop , grocery shops will always be available and the loyalty to them can never be replaced by FDI because scale of return is minimal to them as it is part of the Indian socio economic structure in- built in culture .
Historically India adapts to changes. The great strength of India is assimilation of different new thoughts , movements and changes. India is habituated to assimilative and Indian-ice any such thoughts and changes and become modern while keeping ancient thoughts and cultures in consonance with the world .