The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly opposes the decision of the Union Cabinet to allow 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment through the automatic route in single brand retail trade. Till now, FDI upto 49 per cent was permitted under the automatic route. This step to liberalise FDI in retail trade will have harmful consequences for domestic retail traders and shopkeepers.
This measure indicates that the Modi government is moving towards allowing FDI in multi-brand retail trade. The BJP, while in opposition, was opposed to the entry of foreign companies into retail trade. Now being in government, it has hypocritically reversed its position.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) also strongly opposes the decision to allow foreign airlines to invest upto 49 per cent in Air India. Having taken the decision to privatise Air India, the Modi government is now moving towards handing over Air India to a foreign airline. The government should heed the recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture which has asked the government to review its decision on privatization of Air India and provide five years to revive the airline with its debt written off.