New Delhi: After demanding rollback of the FDI in multi-brand retail announcement, the BJP on Saturday said the measure may not see the light of day as it is "full of holes" and multinationals may not find the offer attractive enough to invest in India.

Former Finance Minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha lashed out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his statement on Friday in which he had justified the notification of FDI in multi-brand retail and the hike in diesel prices.

"When the NDA was in power, Priyaranjan Dasmunshi (Congress) had raised the FDI in multi-brand issue in Parliament and said it will be an anti-national step. Arun Shourie had then assured the House that no such step is being taken... What was anti-national in 2002 has become patriotic today," he said.

Finding faults with the FDI in multi-brand policy, Sinha said, "The implementation of this earth-shaking reform is to be decided by the states... We are going to have elections in Rajasthan and Delhi. An efficient company like Walmart has said it will take 18 months to come to India. What if the government changes?"

He maintained that though there may be certain "best practices" of the multinationals in processing, cold chains, transportation and the like which can be emulated, there is no technology that is available only with them and not with India. "So for this FDI is not required," Sinha said.

"This FDI in multi-brand retail is so full of holes, so full of problems that I cannot say any company will come to India," Sinha said.

Sinha said though 100 percent FDI is permitted through the automatic route in the food processing sector, one one-third of our fruits and vegetables perish and no foreign company has made a 100 percent investment.

The BJP maintained that the current economic crisis facing the country is a result of the steps taken by UPA government in the last eight years and its definition of economic reforms.

"How do we understand economic reforms? My charge is that for this government it only means foreign investments," Sinha said, adding that the Prime Minister appears more concerned about foreign investments which forms only two percent of the Gross Domestic Savings.

BJP claimed it is not opposed to foreign direct investment coming to India but it can only be like an "icing on the cake".

"We cannot accept that FDI will secure India's future," Sinha said.

He recalled that in 2001 the BJP-led NDA had made several reform suggestions but could not implement quite a few of them as a "democratic" Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee did not want to hurt some sections.

BJP alleged that the UPA government had to increase the price of diesel by Rs 5 per litre as it has done away with the Administrative Price Mechanism started by the NDA. "You have politicised the prices. Increasing the price of diesel is not a reform process," Sinha said.

He suggested that the government should instead cut down its wasteful expenditure and check corruption in its dispensation to improve the economy.


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