Shri Nitish Kumar
Honourable Chief Minister
The Congress-ruled states’ chief ministers Sheila Dikshit, Prithviraj Chavan, Bhupendra Singh Hooda and Tarun Gogoi have mounted pressure on to implement the pending decision of allowing 51% FDI in retail sector. The Union Commerce and Industry minister Anand Sharma is running pole to pillar to garner support of non-Congress chief ministers for the immediate implementation of the decision. As you know, the UPA government was forced to withhold the decision, announced in November end last year, following united and stiff protest by the non-Congress political parties and trade union bodies. The Congress chief ministers and Anand Sharma, who championed the proposal, are giving same untenable arguments in favour of FDI which have been refuted by the experts and concerned citizens in the debate raised after announcement of the decision. If cold storage/refrigeration is necessary to preserve fruits and vegetables, as argued by Sheila Dikshit, this does not call for foreign assistance. It can, obviously, be well accomplished and arranged for by India on her own.
In early May, the US Foreign Secretary Mrs. Hillary Clinton visited India with this agenda at top priority. Mrs. Clinton has served on Wal-Mart board as its director for six years. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, expressed utmost resentment against the decision. That is why Mrs. Clinton went to Calcutta first to meet and praise Mrs. Banerjee. The Indian MD of the French retail giant Carrefour called on Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and raised the issue of allowing FDI in retail at the earliest. In fact, the UPA government is bent upon implementing this decision in favour and benefit of foreign multinational retail chain companies at the cost of retailers and farmers of the country. The government, adhering to its neo-liberal policies, can possibly declare any time that it would implement the decision anyway. In case this decision is implemented, it would be disastrous not only for the retailers and farmers of the country but also for the cultural ethos of the Indian society.
In view of this descending danger, the Socialist Party held a day-long dharna at Jantar Mantar on 28 May 2012 against the government’s decision and submitted a memorandum to the President requesting her to advise the government to scrap the decision conclusively.
Ours is a new party and we do not have members in the parliament or legislative assemblies. Therefore, we wrote to the president/general secretary of your party a few days ago seeking your co-operation to place pressure on the government through the parliament and through other democratic means in order to scrap this decision immediately. Now we write to you to kindly declare that Bihar, one of the largest and most important states in India, will not implement this anti-people and anti-national decision JD (U)’s close association with the socialist movement in India gives us a great hope that you will support the cause of small traders and farmers against the neo-liberal onslaught on their livelihood.
A copy of the memorandum is attached for your kind perusal.
With best regards
Bhai Vaidya Dr. Prem Singh
President General Secretary