The Aam Aadmi Party on Friday questioned why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was pushing for the Foreign Direct Investment after he had opposed the same regime as the Gujarat Chief Minister in 2012. Noting that Modi in 2012 had said that allowing FDI in multi brand retail would mean immense harm to small shopkeepers, hit the domestic manufacturing sector and create joblessness, AAP leader Ashutosh said: “He himself once said the (then Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh-led UPA government was for, of or by the foreigners. “Which foreign powers are today backing him and making him bring the regime that will badly affect the small businessmen.” His remarks came a day after sweeping relaxations were announced in the FDI rules in single-brand retail and other areas besides allowing overseas carriers to acquire as much as 49 per cent of Air India to help speed up its divestment.
Overseas retailers can now delay having to meet the 30 per cent local sourcing norm by five years, removing a significant stumbling block. AAP’s trade wing convenor Brijesh Goyal said: “First, they (foreign companies) sell their products with less profit, gradually they develop a control over the market, making the small businessmen suffer.”