Guwahati: Opposing the Centre's decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, the Asom Gana Parishad on Monday said entry of international players in the sector will make lakhs of youths unemployed in states like Assam.

Assam is one of the few states which has expressed support for allowing foreign retail companies to open stores.

AGP president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said, "FDI in multi-brand retail will completely destroy local retail outlets making lakhs of youths unemployed, especially in Assam and other northeastern states where industrialization is almost zero and retail is a major avenue for unemployed youth to earn their livelihood.

"When investors were given facilities in the northeast, they were asked to invest a certain portion of the profit they earned back in the region. Has the UPA government set any such condition for the global retail players?" he said.

Terming the decision as a "gift" to US President Barack Obama on the eve of American Presidential election, Mahanta said the power given to state governments to decide for or against allowing multi-national retail chains to invest in respective states in not enough.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said it is up to state chief ministers to decide if they want FDI in multi-brand retail. But can he say that subsequent governments in states can negate their predecessors' decision and send them (companies) back?" he said.

The former two-time chief minister said Indian business houses would not be able to compete with giant American retail players due to high domestic rates of interest in India.


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