10-Dec-2011

FDI in Multi-Brand Critics are Retail Luddities


Says the FICCI Secretary-General, this sorry piece:  Beat back the retail Luddites.  He would, wouldn't he. 
A mere 10 million owners of traditional and self-organised retail and wholesale trade have held the country of 1.2 billion people to ransom and thwarted progress. 
No, it wasn't them.  Most political parties barring the Congress put up a front to get it suspended.
It is yet another demonstration (like ‘central planning is more efficient than a regulated market') of how untruth can triumph when repeated often and loudly enough. The retail sector is destined to almost double in size in the next 10 years by simply keeping pace with growth. By 2022, the size of the unorganised retail sector is estimated to reach nearly $1,000 billion. Of this, the ‘mom and pop stores' are expected to have a market share of 84 per cent, giving them a business volume of $840 billion — a huge expansion from their current market of $450 billion!
Note the almost subliminal reference to a certain ideology which starts with 'S'.  Also note the numbers he throws with such gay abandon to prove a point.  $1000 billion in ten years!  84% of this will still be claimed by 'mom and pop' stores.  If 84% is guaranteed to be cornered by the local shops, then what exactly is the need for FDI in multi-brand retail?  Isn't there an assumption that the local shops will still be around?

These are the only other criticism of the FDI decision he addresses : India becoming re-colonised by foreign powers.  Bah!  Who in their right senses makes that argument?  

Then this:
This reflects a very low opinion of our abilities and indeed very poor self-esteem. Can a country whose people have such a poor opinion of themselves really rise to assume global responsibilities? ... We have to show to the world and more importantly prove to ourselves that we can determine our own destiny. This is to be achieved not by denying ourselves the progress that is possible by working with foreign investors but by acting with sagacity, foresight and resolve when and if foreign investors diverge from our national priorities.
Exactly.  We should do that.  Why assume that we can determine our destiny only with foreign investors?  Isn't it possible otherwise?

Fix things like the APMC laws, local taxes, and the transport infrastructure first.  Then lets see if things improve or  not.  Then we can think of FDI in multi-brand retail.

No comments:

Post a Comment