New Delhi: Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury on Thursday slammed the UPA's move to bring FDI in retail, saying it would be of no benefit either to the people or the economy.

"If this was to be of any benefit to the people and the economy, we would have supported it. But this is not. We had heard the same arguments at the time of the Indo-US nuclear deal ... That it would help in providing power to millions of households. Instead, we have had one of the most severe powercuts in the summer past," Yechury said, while speaking on the debate in the Rajya Sabha on FDI in retail.

He sought to counter the government's arguments favouring FDI in retail.

"You say employment will increase. How much truth is there in that," he said, citing a US Senate Committee report which stated that Wal-Mart was the death knell for small-scale shopkeepers and workers.

"It is a myth that there is going to be an increase in employment. Rather, there will be a contraction," Yechury said.

"You say that farmers will benefit from FDI in retail. But take a look at the world around you. Whether it is cocoa farmers in Ghana or banana farmers in Latin America, nobody has benefited from FDI," he said.

"The government says that prices will come down, wages will increase and wastage will decrease. The experience of the world does not go down with this explanation," he contended.

"If FDI is brought in, unemployment will increase. Farmers and consumers will be hurt. We believe FDI will be a loss to the nation. We urge the government to think again and not take this decision. This is not in favour of the country," Yechury said.


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