We are not against FDI in retail: Akhilesh Yadav


New Delhi : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Tuesday said his party would support foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail if it benefited farmers, contradicting his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s stand on the controversial issue.

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“We are not against the FDI in retail. But when FDI in retail comes, the farmer should not be harmed,” Yadav said at an event organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here.

He said like other states, Uttar Pradesh, too, was keen to get overseas investments to boost manufacturing.

“All states want investment. If the manufacturing sector in the country is not harmed, then we are okay with it,” he said.

Akhilesh Yadav’s statement contradicts the stand of Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has opposed the issue and said overseas investments would virtually destroy India’s retail sector.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently, the Samajwadi Party chief urged him that India should not allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

The letter was signed by Mulayam Singh Yadav, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI leader S. Sudhakar Reddy, Danish Ali of Janata Dal-Secular, Debabrata Biswas of Forward Bloc and Abani Roy of Revolutionary Socialist Party.

“Entry of MNC supermarket and hypermarket chains would cause severe displacement of small and unorganised shopkeepers and traders,” the joint open letter to the prime minister said.

The central government early this year suspended the implementation of the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail following protests from principal opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and some of the key constituents of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), notably the Trinamool Congress.