The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday criticised the Narendra Modi government after American retail giant Walmart bought a 77% stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart for $16 billion (Rs 1.07 lakh crore), saying that the Centre had failed to stop the backdoor entry of foreign capital in India’s huge multi-crore retail trade sector.
“The proposal to allow FDI in India’s multi-brand retail sector was stoutly opposed by the Left parties,” CPI(M) said in a statement. “When in opposition, the BJP also opposed this move. Now in government, the BJP is facilitating the entry of foreign capital through the e-commerce route.”
The Left party said that this would destroy the retail trade sector, which directly employs more than four crore people. “This takeover once again exposes the naked betrayal of all promises made by the Modi government: Make in India has now become Make for India,” the party added.
The Confederation of All India Traders, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch have also opposed the deal, PTI reported. The traders’ body said that it was an attempt to control and dominate retail trade in India in the long run, while the Swadeshi Jagran Manch accused Walmart of circumventing rules and entering India’s retail sector through the back door.
The RSS organisation wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to intervene. “This will further eliminate small and medium businesses, small shops, and opportunity to create more jobs,” the organisation said. “Most of these small entrepreneurs are already battling for their existence; entry of Walmart will further create problems for them.”
The Retailers Association of India asked the government to ensure that e-commerce companies adhere to the policy on foreign direct investment. “We believe that some e-commerce companies in India have not been adhering to the guidelines issued under the Press Note 3 of the FDI Policy for marketplaces,” the organisation alleged. “These companies have been directly or indirectly participating in pricing and discounting, which is against the policy that seeks to create a level playing field.”