India welcomes Walmart on the same day NY shut it out: BJP's Advani

India News Bulletin

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has “rolled out the red carpet for Walmart” on the same day New York City decided to shut it out as it was posing a threat to local businesses, said Opposition leader LK Advani.

India welcomes Walmart when US protest against it intensifies, says Advani
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Advani criticised the UPA government’s decision -- to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail at a time when American protest against the retail goliath intensifies -- through his blog post.

“Ironically, the very Friday [September 14] the UPA government handed the FDI bouquet to Walmart and lobbyists assured that small retailers are safe…” Advani pointed, “America’s reputed magazine Atlantic Cities published a devastating piece of news -- ‘Radiating Death: How Walmart Displaces Nearby Small Businesses.”

Walmart displacing independent local shops in the US

According to the article on Atlantic Cities, Walmart is forcing local, independent stores to close down.

It pointed that in 2006, just before a Walmart store was opened in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago's West side, there were 306 local businesses in the nearby area. “Two years after the Walmart opened, 82 of those businesses had closed,” the article read.

It further warned that Walmart store affects different tyoes of local businesses differently. The most badly affected were toy stores (25% closure rate) and pharmacies (20% closure rate). Other businesses such as home furnishings and hardware stores also saw a closure rate of more than 15%.

Just a week after the government approved 51% FDI in multi-brand retail, Walmart unveiled its ambitious plan to open stores in Indian in the next 18 to 24 months.

Ongoing protest against Walmart in the US

Advani also pointed out to several other ongoing protests against Walmart in the US, warning of its negative impact on the Indian economy.

“Weeks ago, on June 30, over 10,000 people, marched through Los Angeles, America’s richest city, against Walmart stores shouting ‘Walmart equals Poverty’,” Advani added.

He added: “On June 1, hundreds protested in Washington DC against Walmart. ‘Say-No-To-Walmart’ is an ongoing movement all over the US.”

The latest FDI reforms is a U-turn by Congress-led government

Advani also pointed that the UPA government's FDI reforms now is a u-turn from its previous stance on the issue. In 2002, when the then NDA-led government had said that FDI is required in the retail sector, senior Congress officials opposed the idea calling it "anti-national".  

 According to Advani, at that time Congress MPs said that the NDA government was under pressure from multi-national retailers to allow FDI in retail trade. 

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