FDI IN RETAIL: `No more marketing of FDI in retail in name of farmers will be allowed’

FDI IN RETAIL: `No more marketing of FDI in retail in name of farmers will be allowed’

New Delhi, November 2, 2012: "The FDI in Multi brand Retail will crush the Indian farmers as it has happened in the countries where global retailers are holding their business operations.  To sustain farmers in farming, the USA Government is trying hard and has been forced to provide One billion dollar subsidy per day to its farmers. Many other European Countries are also following the same path. In this tested backdrop how the global retailers will prove to be beneficial to the Indian farmers is a question which is yet to be answered by the Government"- said thirty leading farmer leaders of the country at a press conference held here today under the banner of Khudra FDI Virodhi Rashtriya Morcha (KFVRM).

The marketing of FDI in Retail in the name of Farmers by the Government will not be allowed by the farmers of the Country"-said the farmer leaders with firm voice.

Prominent leaders of the Indian farming community who attended the press conference include Bhartiya Kisan Union, Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, Kisan Mahapanchayat, Bhartiya Krishak Samaj, Rashtriya Kisan Majdoor Sangathan, Kheti Virasat Mission, Bhartiya Janta Kisan Morcha .

Naresh Sirohi, General Secretary of Bhartiya Kisan Morcha and Convener of the Farmers Cell of the Khudra FDI Virodhi Rashtriya Morcha while addressing the press conference said that on the pretext of its claim that FDI in Retail will improve the conditions of Indian farmers as they would be getting better prices for their produce, cold storages will be developed, new technology will be available to farmers to improve their farming, the government is trying to sell FDI in Retail in India. All these logics were given at the time of introducing Multi Commodity Exchange in November, 2003 and it is a fact that the MCX has ruined the farmers to the extent of committing suicide. 

The government is loudly claiming benefits of FDI to the farmers. On the other hand it is mysteriously silent on the report submitted by Agriculture Commission Chairman M.S. Swamynathan. 

The leaders of the farming community while addressing the media questioned the statement of the Prime Minister that "Money does not grow on trees" then why in last three years a relief of Rs.13.5 lakh crores was given to Corporate sector in taxes and other benefits and on the other hand the government is aggressively advocating lifting of subsidies in diesel and fertilizers which remains always crucial for the Indian farmers.

The leaders also said that we have hundreds of Agricultural Universities and Agricultural Research Institutes all over the country which are extensively doing well which is often claimed by the government. Are they not able to provide innovative technology to Indian farmers for which the global retailers are being invited to India.

They alleged that, to justify its decision of allowing FDI in Retail, the government has gone down to the extent that purely incorrect figures of 40% food wastage in India is being quoted by one and all in the government despite of the fact that this inflated figure has been contradicted by a survey report of CIPHET, Ludhiana which reports that the food wastage in India is from 0.8% to maximum 18%. The said report has already been accepted by the government in September, 2010. Even after knowing the correct figures, the propagation of incorrect figures of 40% by the government organs established the fact that there is some kind of "hidden agenda" which is prompting the government to even mislead the nation. 

The statements of the government on FDI in Retail speaks that it is not the global retailers but the government which is keener to allow FDI in Retail at any cost. The leaders further said that logics advanced by the government so far to justify its decision have not been supported by any authenticated study or research. On the contrary we have number of living examples, surveys, research, reports and global experience which are sufficient to understand that under any circumstances, the FDI in Retail is not going to benefit the farmers rather it will prove to be a nightmare to the Indian farmers. The government has utterly failed in protecting the interests of the farmers. It has miserably failed to utilise the nation's own resources which could have been used for the betterment of farming in India. It has also failed in evolving a logical and foolproof agricultural policy.

The government administration has proven to be a case of "dismal performance" even in proper implementation of the handicapped policy of the government. Now, it has become known to one and all that the government is of the Corporate, for the Corporate and by the Corporate. Therefore, the format of corporate farming which is an inherent policy of the global retailers will crush and kill the Indian farming sector and the farmers will be cheated and exploited by the global retailers and in the end the farmers will be deprived of their land. 

The leaders of the Indian farming community in a united and unanimous voice strongly condemned the decision of the government to allow FDI in Retail. While demanding immediate withdrawal of the notification the leaders of farmers organisations have decided to join hands together to launch an aggressive agitation all over the Country which will includes protest rallies, dharna and protest march on mass scale all over the country.

Sirohi  told that 100 prominent farmer organisations from all over India extended their full  support to KFVRM's stand on this issue.