PATNA: Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said he was not in favour of allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in his state and added that farmers would not benefit at all from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s decision to open up the multi-brand retail market to FDI.
Addressing a press conference here, the Bihar chief minister also said he had voiced his apprehension to the UPA government in New Delhi about allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.
“The retail business is doing well, the shopkeepers are earning money and people are buying their daily needs from them...If FDI comes in, what will be achieved? The farmers will not benefit,” he said.
“When the central government wrote to me on the subject, I replied on every point and voiced our apprehensions. It (FDI) will not benefit the farmers at all.
“They (foreign investors) promise in the beginning that profits will reach farmers. But ultimately, the farmers get nothing,” the JD-U leader said.
“Let the government bring FDI to where there is lack of capital,” he said, alleging that the foreign investors wanted to “occupy” the Indian market.
“Why should we allow it...We are not at all in favour of implementing it in Bihar,” the chief minister said.
On Friday, the UPA government cleared 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and 100 per cent single-brand retail, besides allowing foreign investment in the aviation, broadcasting and power sectors.
Although the central government has cleared the 51 per cent FDI in retail, the decision of whether or not to allow such investment rests with the state government.
The Narendra Modi-Nitish Kumar tiff is set to enter the electoral arena with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) finding itself in competition in 100 seats against its own ally — the JD-U.
Amid this battle, in a move that has left Nitish red-faced, a BJP minister in Bihar cut a cake to celebrate the 62nd birthday of the Gujarat CM.
Indo-Asian News Service