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New Bills Will Harm Indian Economy

The Government has passed bills on Food Land Companies Pension FDI among others It is feared that the new legislations can hinder growth in the future In an interaction with MOHD MUSTAQUIM Senior CPI M leader NILOTPAL BASU expressed apprehensions pertaining to new legislations and termed them as poll gimmick

Nilotpal Basu
Senior CPI (M) leader
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The Government has recently passed several bills in a row, what is your comment on Food Security Bill?
Rather than a good sense, these bills are more focused on UPA's electoral agenda. The government is not committed to realisation of the stated objectives of these bills. If they were serious about these bills, the bills should have been legislated earlier.
As far as Food Security Bill is concerned, the basic philosophy of the bill does not target its objectives. Earlier it was proposed that there will be a socio-economic caste census and it will draw up socio-economic as well as caste aspect of the people of India that who would be more appropriate to receive the food rights entitlements. However, unfortunately, the census is far away from being completed.

Objections have been raised from various quarters against the Land Acquisition Bill as it may adversely impact the industry and economy. Do you think objections are valid?
For Land Bill, the problem is, apart from the Land Acquisition Act, there are 13 other regulations. These include the Indian Railways Act, National Highways Act, Land Acquisition Mines Act, Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition & Development Act etc, under which the bulk of the land acquisition takes place. The Government is refusing the provisions of those bills in sync with this new bill. In their respective filed, these regulations will create conflict with the new bill. These conflicts can put a jerk on the way of infrastructural development and finally, it will leave a negative impact on the economy.

Amid strong opposition and protests, the Govt got the FDI bill approved in Parliament. it is apprehended that it will affect the unorganised retail sector in India, how do you see its consequences?
From the beginning, we are saying, in retail sector we do not need FDI. After agriculture, retail sector is the second highest employment generator in the country. If you are allowing FDI into this sector, rather than generating employment, it will further take away existing employment opportunities.
Furthermore, the problem is, it has completely been neglected and no safeguard has been put in place to protect indigenous retail. Because, big retail giants like Wal-Mart and Carrefour, they put pressure on the Government. The government has done away with all safeguards. This pro FDI policy will eventually destruct not only retail sector in the country but also small manufacturing.

However, the Government claims that the new law will minimise the role of middlemen in consumer retail. Your comment.
Wal-Mart is the biggest middleman of the world. Instead of very small indigenous middlemen, they will be replaced by the biggest middlemen of the world. And these companies will have monopoly in the market. As per the simple economic logic, instead of small intermediaries, if you have very large intermediaries, they will have monopoly over the price in both level, at the level of procurement as well as at the level of sell. It will necessarily out market the indigenous retailers. Once they secure their position in the market, they will have monopoly to determine and drive the price.

What is your opinion on new Companies Law?
The new Companies Bill is short. The question is, who will regulate the corporate houses? This corruption-tainted government is standing at the weak side and making these so-called popular bills. Ultimately, these bills will harm the country's economy.
Countries like India and its size, unless empowering its population, unless developing domestic markets, things will not improve.

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