Why is social networking silent on FDI in retail?
But there seems quite a quite on the issue of FDI in retail at least in the social networking sphere! Let’s understand this. The average Facebook (social site with the largest penetration among internet users) user is a Youth. 76% is the age group from 18-34 years that indulge in it (source: socialbakers.com). This segment is the most independent, society-conscious, politically intolerant and convenience seeking brigade. So how come we see them going against FDI in Retail! After all entry of Wall Mart, Carrefour is bound to heighten the comfort and luxury of shopping. And that too at economic rates with loads of schemes and offers. Aren’t we doing it in Big Bazar or Easy Day or Vishal Mega Mart or Store 99 for a fairly long time now? And that too without any obvious side effects. These stores imply shopping convenience with loads of varieties and economies. The sector has created gainful employment for a whole genre of class be it sales, security or the supply chains. And we have not seen the shrinking of kirana and other mom & pop stores. On the other hand we have seen many of them turning their dukan into well managed professional enterprises with focus on customer service.
The reasons of them not going against foreign FDI are quite simple. But why are they not coming out in its support then?
The reason seems to be general lack of trust in governance over past some time. There are apprehensions. Why FDI in retail? This is the only sector that is recession free and ever booming in India and has largest density. Opening it shall mean allowing ‘them’ cream. Retail involves no such technology, its basically selling interaction. And when our Indian stores understand our sensibilities better why is to allow majority stake to foreigners. These International Chains are for profits and with their pockets these can create a cartel and after couple of years can push for better prices and profits for themselves and fleecing the poor middle class customer.
FDI in retail is not getting huge support it deserves because of the distrust with the current UPA2 regime. The public perceives that the matter seems to be hastened under US pressure a la Nuclear deal earlier. The government must dispel these doubts. The benefit of FDI in retail far outweighs it’s so called negatives. It will benefit the Nation in long run to organise its Retail sector. Perhaps the retailers that are presently protesting this move are the only segment that is exempted from any serious Tax scrutiny. For present government they neither pay taxes nor do they give votes (these are generally considered BJP/right wing voters). With elections round the corner these ‘down to earth’ retailers are getting the Opposition support. And the social network lends its support with its silence.