New Delhi: Rejecting government's contention that FDI in multi-brand retail will benefit farmers, BJP and CPI on Friday pressed for an "inclusive" debate in Parliament for clarity on how the benefits will flow.

Attacking the government for going back on its assurance to hold consultations with stakeholders, including state Chief Ministers, CPI leader D Raja said "government had betrayed and violated its own assurance" given in Parliament.

Addressing a ASSOCHAM conference on retail, Raja and BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman insisted on a debate in Parliament, so that "government could explain the mechanism it has set up to ensure that FDI in retail will benefit farmers and empower them".

"Economy largely consists of agriculture, manufacturing and services. FDI in retail will impact all these three sectors... Why did the government not hold an inclusive debate in Parliament before introducing it," Sitharaman said.

She added that the government could have followed the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce on FDI in multi-brand retail.

Observing that FDI in retail is different from similar foreign investments in insurance and pension, she said, "The so called growth driven planning of this government is not generating employment. This FDI will slowly but surely eliminate self-employed people such as traders and those in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)."

Accusing the government of betraying Parliament, Raja said it had assured a debate in the House over the issue.

"When the FDI issue came, there was an uproar in Parliament. Then Finance Minister had assured consultations with all stakeholders including Chief Ministers. What happened to that assurance given in Parliament...This government had betrayed and violated its own assurance," he said.


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