New Delhi: BSP supremo and former UP Chief Minister Mayawati held a press conference on Monday but refrained from divulging her party’s stand on contentious issue of FDI in retail. She also added that her stand will be disclosed at the time of voting in the Parliament.

Interacting with media, Mayawati also added that her party has never been in favour of FDI in retail and her government in UP never allowed it.  Softening her stand over the issue, she said that Centre has made it clear that FDI in retail is optional to the state governments and would not be forced on any state.     

"The only plus point of this policy of the Centre is that if a state does not want to implement the FDI policy then it will not be forcefully imposed on that state. Our party has taken serious note of this. Our party is also serious thinking whether it should be standing with those parties that encourage communal forces," Mayawati said.

She pointed out that though BSP has not yet taken a decision on the issue, when the matter comes up in Parliament these two issues will determine its stand.

"In case of voting on the FDI in retail issue our party will keep these two factors in mind while taking the right and proper decision in the interest of the country," she said.

Asked if BSP is putting the passage of the Reservation in promotion for SC/ST as a pre-condition to pledge support to the UPA government, Mayawati replied in the negative.

The BSP chief, however, maintained that her party still has certain reservations about the FDI policy in its present form and suggested that the government do a "serious analysis" of its impact on the poor and the middle classe before implementing it.

Mayawati said her party is not against the idea of FDI as foreign loans and FDI were the two options through which a developing country can improve its economy.

"Due to lack of resources, development cannot take place. So, developing nations have to take loans or depend on FDI. But there is a limit to the amount of loan a country can take. FDI then is the only other option. Many countries have taken the help of FDI to improve their economy," she noted.

However, she cautioned that FDI should be allowed with certain caveats.

"While one section and the government believe FDI will bring big benefits, those opposed say there will be big losses due to it. No decision should be taken in a hurry and without checking all aspects. Our suggestion to the government is to study its impact on Congress-ruled states, do a deep analysis and then proceed further," Mayawati said.

She pointed out that countries like Thailand and Malaysia invited FDI but the results were not very good and their economies suffered. Mayawati said India needs to look into which sectors FDI should be allowed as it may have an adverse impact in some areas.

"Allowing FDI into India without any conditions will not be good for the domestic economy," she said, adding that her party is concerned about its impact on farmers, small businesses, labourers, factories, small traders and the like.

"There is an apprehension that due to FDI in multi-brand retail the small traders will suffer big loses and will lose their significance," Mayawati said.

The BSP supremo hit out at the government for claiming that FDI in retail will bring down prices of commodities. "The wrong economic policies of the government have led to price rise and growing unemployment," she said. She maintained that foreign multinational companies want to tap those markets which have maximum consumers.

(JPN/Agencies)

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