New Delhi: Attacking the government for its "hurried" decision allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, BJP on Friday alleged said that despite strong objections from the Opposition it has been done under foreign elements' pressure and will affect the livelihood of Indians in retail trade.

"BJP strongly condemns this hurried decision forcing FDI in multi-brand retail in India. Inspite of serious opposition from within Congress, its allies and nearly the entire Opposition led by BJP, the government has seriously jeopardised the life, livelihood and employment of five crore people involved in retail trade in the country," BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The main Opposition party alleged this has been done under the pressure of "foreign elements" and would not bring any concrete return benefits to India.

"Outsourcing from India remains a very contentious issue in America and Europe. The Manmohan Singh government has not been able to extract any firm commitment for India and yet has opened the floodgates to FDI in retail, which will be disastrous for the country," Prasad said.

The right-wing party also maintained the government had assured both Houses of Parliament that a decision on this issue will be taken only after wide consultations and after all stakeholders on board.

"So, this hurried decision is almost a breach of privilege as well," Prasad charged.

BJP, however, declined comment on the decision allowing FDI in civil aviation.

BJP leader Rajnath Singh said the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail has opened the floodgates for big multinationals by allowing them to hold controlling stake of 51 percent in multi brand ventures.

"UPA government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is fighting a losing battle for its survival. It is pertinent to note that recently the UPA government has come under severe criticism for corruption and policy paralysis. The credibility of this government has touched a new low with the recent expose of scam in coal block allocations," Singh said.

He maintained this decision could have been taken to restore the sagging image of the Prime Minister in the foreign media.

"It seems the government is unable to digest the Prime Minister's criticism in the foreign media which dubbed him as a tragic figure," Singh said.

He demanded UPA's coalition partners should immediately withdraw support to the government if they are opposed to FDI in retail.

BJP leader and PAC Chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi alleged FDI in multi-brand retail is "cheating".

"Farmers and traders will be badly affected. Foreign companies are looters and corrupt and this will create inequality.... Walmart, the retail giant, had to pay huge fine for its misdeeds in US. Global companies looted their nations and now they want to loot our wealth," he said.

(Agencies)

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