Demand immediate roll back of the decision to allow FDI in Retail, Civil Aviation, Power & Broadcasting Sectors
Do not let the lackey Indian ruling classes and the running dogs of imperialists in the Parliament to sell our country’s sovereignty to the FDI Giants
The Central government took a Cabinet decision on September 14 to allow 51% FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) in Multi-Brand Retail and facilitating more than 51% in Single Brand Retail, 49% in Civil Aviation, 49% in Power Exchanges and 49 to 74% in Broadcasting sector including DTH and in spite of huge opposition issued a notification on September 20th that would immediately bring this into effect.
Now foreign investors can invest in and open retail shops in ten states and Union Territories and the other states can take the decision as to allow it or not. The statutory warning issued in ‘national interests’ on the package says : More FDI in all sectors to come, New Economic Policies of 1991 were the rehearsals, this is the Grand Opening to the beginning of the end of our country, Revolting would be injurious to health.
Adding salt to injury, the price of diesel per litre was increased to 5 rupees and the number of subsidized cooking gas cylinders per family was reduced to a meager six per year. The opposition parties called for a bandh on September 20 opposing these decisions but going by their past record of vying with each other for the rapid implementation of pro-imperialist policies in the states where they had been or at present in power, one can easily deduce that they are just reenacting the drama of November 2011 of namesake opposition and this whole bunch of gangsters going by the name of UPA and opposition parties are one of the same piece.
After these lackeys finish playing their part in this reeking parliamentary farce, the FDI would make its grand imperial front door entry on to the red carpet rolled by the comprador Indian ruling classes, crushing crores of small retail traders and peasants under its iron heels all along its trail to the nook and corners of the country. Sovereignty is just a small price to pay and the number of suicides of small retailers and farmers that would dramatically increase would be the collateral damage that has to be borne to usher in ‘economic growth’ via FDI. There is a condition that it is up to the state governments whether to implement the FDI decision or not, so the Congress led governments would anyway implement it in their states. While Akali Dal had unashamedly stated that it is for this decision, even the other parties would follow suit through the back door as they are also nothing but comprador parties that had been bending over backwards to fulfill the interests of the imperialist MNCs in their states till date and in every sphere.
Trinamool Congress announced its decision to withdraw from the UPA-2 with much reluctance just to save its face and has been indicating that it would give support if the government makes some concessions in these decisions like bringing back the price of diesel per litre to three or four rupees, increasing the number of cooking gas cylinders and may be reducing some percentage of FDI in the multi-brand retail business. Hillary Clinton had already paid a visit to Mamta Banerji precisely on the FDI issue last year and one need not be surprised when she rolls the red carpet to FDI in retail in her state. It is just of matter of timing keeping in view ‘grave’ concerns such as elections, clinging to power etc. Mulayam’s statement that he would not withdraw support to UPA on the FDI issue as his party does not want the communal forces to go ahead is a white lie.
None of these vassals of the Delhi Sarkar have a backbone or any concern for the nearly 4 to 5 crore small retailers (and the 15 to 20 crores of people dependent on them) who would lose their livelihood to the FDI giants. It should be seriously noted that not a single one of them including the revisionist CPI and CPI (M) are totally rejecting the decision to bring in FDI or demanding its complete withdrawal which is proof of their connivance.
Their so-called opposition, namesake bandh calls or dharnas are just for more sops for their state which they can guzzle or to loosen the leashes of the umpteen numbers of corruption and scandal cases worth crores of rupees that are in the hands of the central government. What increase in job opportunities due to entry of FDI is the professional liar PM talking about while the World of Work 2011 report is projecting a bleak future for employment prospects and a global survey of 150 countries is stating that socio-economic insecurity has heightened across the world? The entire record of retail giants like Wal-Mart or a Tesco all over the world including US shows that they had reaped massive unemployment and underemployment wherever they were sowed.
A single Wal-Mart store could crush 13,000 small retail stores and take away 4,000 jobs. Behind every job generated there would be at least be 20 lost jobs. Count the number of persons in a family who depend on the income of a single job in a backward country like India and the picture that would emerge is not rosy as the PM projects but bloody. And most of the few jobs that they generate are non-guaranteed, low-paid, back-breaking insecure temporary sweatshop jobs and violate all the hard-won labor rights and laws.
The heads of every government in Europe and other imperialist countries including US are holding their heads as to how to tackle the problem of unemployment and the ensuing and intensifying protests against their economic policies and all the MNC vultures that are perching in India now were born and brought up in these countries. How are they going to shower jobs on us when they failed miserably in their own countries to create jobs? Does the PM, the ‘Art of Lying’ Guru, think we have forgotten how Obama who came with his entourage to India to sign business deals went back to US touting how he got more jobs for US citizens? Why is he globetrotting for jobs for his citizens when he has MNC giants like Wal-Marts, Tescos, Carrefours and Metros in his own country that could shower jobs? Why doesn’t the PM first ask his bosses in US to stop the crashing of their monopoly giants one after another in spite of any number of bailouts before trying to ‘bring us out of our difficult times’ by bringing in similar monopoly giants? The PM saying that it would help the farmers in making profits by doing away with the middlemen is a cruel joke.
The retail giants would not only dictate what is to be produced, which seeds are be sown, which pesticides and fertilizers are to be used – in a word every aspect of production, but would also drastically reduce the profit margin of the farmers once they gain the upper hand in the market. They would force the farmers to produce a single variety that would not only hit hard the livelihood of the farmers who would now be forced to buy everything at exorbitant prices in the market but would also make the lands barren not to mention the enormous harm to the ecology. The final result would be that the small and middle farmers would not be able to meet the demands of these giants with agriculture increasingly becoming a loss making prospect. They would be forced to sell their lands to corporate farming and becoming paupers.
All this would exacerbate the already looming large agrarian crisis in our country leading to more suicides and unrest among the farmers. Even the condition that these outlets should buy 30% local products is a big sham as there is no single mechanism in our country that would monitor the buying and selling done by these shops. Kickbacks would prevent the formation such mechanisms in future or the overarching WTO would take care of the violation or the creation of exceptions to the rule. But yes, the PM is right on one count. This would do away with the lakhs of small and big middlemen who have been a part of the huge complex chain between the producer and the consumer making a living or even been making some profits.
Whether we call them middlemen or something else innumerable persons are needed in the intricate process of taking the product to the consumer. The question is who would take their place and who would now be pocketing their ‘lost profits’? Certainly not the farmers. Not even the consumers as the prices of commodities would skyrocket once the FDI giants gain the market not to mention the fact that from now on what and all they should consume (eat, drink, wear, see, hear et all) would be decided by the MNCs. (It is a given fact that even now the prices in these outlets are no less anywhere in the world). It would be the Big Middlemen in the Parliament and state assemblies who are behaving like impatient traders in hurry to sell our country for peanuts to the MNCs and pocket the kickbacks.
The biggest profits inside the country would go to the CBB who had already tied and would be tying their capital to the MNCs in retail trade and other private enterprises. With the whole world going the monopoly way wouldn’t it be better if the business of middlemen also gets monopolized by these Dons and the pickpockets and petty thieves are done away? After all, India is on its way to becoming a Super Power courtesy US. The FM Chidambaram, obviously called back into the job by his US masters to ‘efficiently’ and ‘obediently’ implement such ‘economic reforms’, had expressed confidence that he would get 30,000 crores of rupees from disinvestment and check the fiscal deficit that has been cited by the PM as the monster that has to be tackled by bringing in FDI. Why just 30,000 crores?
Let us think BIG. How about disinvesting the Scam Industry that has become the most profitable Public Sector making billions of rupees in the professional hands of our honorable ministers or even just canceling the IPL season once? Ok, we Indians are not ambitious, how about disinvesting just the 2G scam (Rs. 1,75,000 crores) or a slightly bigger and recent coal block allotment scam (Rs. 2 lakh crores)? How about bringing back not even the entire but at least a quarter of the 80 lakh crores of rupees that are stashed away in foreign banks (according to one estimate) or seizing the profits of mining kings like the Gali brothers and Jaganmohan Reddy not permanently but for just one year so that ‘as PM of this great country’ Mr. Singh can provide health, education, housing and jobs and avoid the forceful feeding of FDI poison that he wants us to swallow for this sake?
How about asking the CBB families like Jindals and Mittals to restrict usage of cooking gas cylinders from one cylinder a day to one cylinder a month at least for two years to overcome the present ‘cylinder crisis’ or putting a ban on spending crores of rupees unproductively on building demoniac eye sores like the Antilla and diverting such funds to constructing warehouses, cold storage facilities etc which the PM is saying we can construct only with FDI panacea? The PM is saying that bringing in FDI is needed to come out of the difficult times our economy is facing and that it would serve ‘national interests’ by making India an attractive destination for foreign investments. Where is the need for FDI when our beloved country India has some of the richest natural resources in the world and its human resources are not only second largest in the world but also one with vast potential?
There would be no fiscal deficit or any difficult times (economic crisis) if only these resources are freed from the clutches and exploitation of the big landlords, the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie (CBB) and their imperialist masters and the people of this country are allowed to utilize them for the country’s development. The need of the hour is not disinvestment but divestment of the powers of the gangsters in the Parliament (who are actually ‘illegally’ in power as they do not even have a quarter of the electorate’s mandate and do not have any moral right or credentials to decide the fate of crores of our people) representing the Indian ruling classes to make decisions that impact in the most pernicious manner the lives and livelihoods of the more than hundred and ten crore population of our country the overwhelming majority of whom are workers, poor peasants, urban toilers and middle classes.
It is the imperialists who need our country’s rich resources to come out of the financial crisis that has engulfed them since 2008 and not us who need foreign investments to overcome difficult times. Our difficult times are due to the exploitation of big land lords, CBB and the placing the sovereignty of our country by these ruling classes at the feet of the imperialists allowing them to loot us lock, stock and barrel and not due to our country not being an attractive destination for FDI.
Beloved people of India!
Democrats and Patriots!
Out rightly reject and expose the upside down arguments put forward by the Sonia-Manmohan-Pranab-Chidambaram-Ahluwalia-Rangarajan clique to bring in FDI. Demand the immediate roll back of the decision to allow FDI into Retail and other sectors.
Expose the sham and namesake opposition of the opposition parties most of who have long been engaged in back door parleys to implement this decision in their states. The decision to bring in FDI in retail is not some routine decision but could turn out to be the single biggest neo-liberal economic decision of the government that would negatively impact the lives of majority of people in our country.
Allowing this would rapidly pave the way for rapidly turning our country which is already facing neck-deep neo-colonial exploitation, plunder and control into a slave country. Not a single aspect our lives or any sector would be left untouched by this decision as every aspect in our life is increasingly getting linked with the market. Realize the dangers this decision is posing to our country and us and fight it back tooth and nail. Let the true patriots rise to preserve the sovereignty of our country from the greedy hands of the imperialist looting monsters.
Spokesperson, Central Committee, CPI (Maoist)