The Polit Bureau strongly opposes any move to allow FDI in multi-brand retail trade as suggested by the Inter-Ministerial Group on Inflation headed by the Chief Economic Advisor.

Having utterly failed to curb the relentless increase in prices of essential commodities, the move is to utilize that very failure to push for more concessions to multinational companies like Walmart. The specious arguments put forward that entry of MNC retail giants like Walmart will enhance efficiency of the supply chain and bring down the trading margins belie international experience which shows that any State regulation of these giant retailers are always rendered ineffective. In fact, MNCs will enjoy much greater monopoly power over both farmers and consumers and will manipulate prices to their benefit while at the same time, the livelihood of millions of small unorganized retailers will be virtually wiped out.

This is yet another instance of pro-MNC neo-liberal framework which will badly affect the Indian people. It is shocking that the Group of Ministers has refused to accept the Supreme Court direction to strengthen the public distribution system and distribute foodgrains to the people which is also one of the ways of controlling market prices. It is to be noted that the Inter-Ministerial Group has not suggested any meaningful step to curb food inflation, like enhancing agricultural productivity or stepping up public investment in storage and transportation. Options like strengthening the PDS and banning future trade in essential commodities are also being ignored.

The CPI(M) calls upon other political parties and organisations to protest against this retrograde move.