The Centre's decision to allow 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector is akin to suicide for a country like India, said Bhavarlal H Jain a pioneer of micro-irrigation in India. Jain, the founder-chairman of Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd, was speaking at the 13th edition of Confluence-2011 at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on Saturday.
He said India already had Tata and Reliance who are smart retailers as well. "We don't need Walmart or US smart. I don't blame (prime minister) Manmohan Singh for this, nor do I blame the government because I don't see any government here," he quipped.
Jain said that India, being a major market, would understandably attract other countries who want to sell their products.
"But why should the Indian government compromise the interest of our farmers? An Indian farmer with one acre of land is no match for a US farmer with 20,000 acres of land," he said. Jain added that the decision would affect poor farmers adversely.
"The decision is like committing suicide. They (other countries) want to sell their goods and need markets. But is it necessary for us to buy their products? Today's world needs markets and India provides that market. It means we have the upper hand. So why can't we frame strict rules for Western countries that are keen to enter our market?" Jain asked.