Moga: Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail will benefit farmers, Punjab Mandi Board President Ajmer Singh Lakhowal on Tuesday said, welcoming the Centre's decision last week to allow FDI in the sector.

"It will be good for the state, particularly the farmers," said Lakhowal, whose Board manages all grain and vegetable markets in the state besides funding the laying and maintenance of roads in the rural areas of Punjab.

Notwithstanding opposition to it from the ruling SAD-BJP combine, Lakhowal said the Centre's step allowing the FDI will help eliminating the middlemen and the farmers and end consumers will benefit.

"Big firms will purchase directly from farmers and this will also help to diversify the farm sector," he said. Lakhowal, who is also President of a farmers' union, said the peasants had supported allowing FDI in the retail.

Lakhowal said the union leaders had also held a meeting in Delhi today where it was "unanimously" resolved to back FDI in multi-brand retail in Punjab.

He said, "Middlemen were causing considerable loss to both farmers and consumers and allowing the FDI will help eliminate that (layer)".

On opposition to the FDI from SAD-BJP alliance, Lakhowal said that ruling Shiromani Akali Dal is an ally of the NDA and will go with them over the issue.


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