New Delhi: BJP today said India cannnot make opening of stores by multi-brand retail giants in any city conditional to state government’s clearance as the country has signed bilateral investment agreements, which says that no conditions can be put on foreign investors, with 82 countries.
The Opposition also alleged FDI in multi-brand retail will increase unemployment in the country.
BJP sought an explanation from Congress on these issues and asked whether the state government would have a real right to reject the entry of FDI in multi-brand retail.
“India has entered into bilateral investment agreements with 82 countries. The basic feature of these bilateral treaties is that they accord national treatment to foreign investors. The effect of this provision is that India cannot put any condition on foreign investors which are not applicable to domestic investors,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
He cited a Kerala High Court ruling which had struck down the Left Front government’s attempt to stop “corporate retailers” by denying them shop and establishment license. “As there are no restrictions on local retail chains, the restrictions on foreign chains by the states would be declared by the courts as void,” Javadekar said.
The right-wing party also charged UPA’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail will have an adverse impact on the existing jobs and also on new job opportunities in the present retail structure.
BJP also claimed the erstwhile NDA government had created eight million jobs per year while UPA has been unable to meet even one-fourth of this figure. “UPA never crossed the figure of two million in any year of its existence,” Javadekar said.