Soon after the UPA government took over for a second time in 2009, a worried Hillary Clinton, the US state secretary, had enquired from her embassy in New Delhi:”How does Sharma (her obedient commerce minister of India) view India’s current FDI guidelines? Which sectors does he plan to open further? Why he is reluctant to open multi-brand retail?”(Wikileaks).She enquired further: “Why was (Pranab) Mukherjee chosen for the finance portfolio over Montek Singh Ahluwalia? How do Mukherjee and Ahluwalia get along? Does Sharma get along with Mukherjee and prime minister Singh?” There is no need for Hillary worrying, they are allgetting along fine in serving her government. They are all in it as a team. And this team hurriedly tried to push through with 100% FDI in retail to her satisfaction. But the US manipulation of the other leaders of opposition parties did not work as planned and the UPA government had to retire hurt for the time being as the parliament did not go along with it.
But the compradors are really loyal to the cause of serving the US dictated opening of the retail sector to MNCs. Even when the Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul are busy in promising to do wonders for the people during their election speeches, Manmohan, Sharma and company were busy with opening the single brand retail to 100% FDI. And according to latest reports, on 27th February Sharma has assured Walmart and Metro, the giant retail MNCs, that the reforms agenda is well on course and the decision to put on hold FDI in multi-brand retail is just a pause forced by compulsion of coalition politics. This assurance was given by him to Walmart president Doug McMillon and Germany based Metro’s board member Frans W.H.Muller. What a loyalty? Hillary and company will be delighted to have such compradors down here who are ready to do anything at their bidding. The FICCI and CII chiefs, true to their comprador character, are delighted with the speeding up of the opening of retail and remaining sectors also to MNCs.
When the government is repeating that opening retail to MNCs and Corporate houses will do away with the middlemen, the first to be affected are the millions of men and women who are making a living by taking the vegetables to the people. The millions of the small shop keepers will be forces to close business, with thousands of them committing suicide. The fatal consequences of opening up of a sector which presently provide employment for 44 million and a total sale of $400 billion is not even discussed in the country. Only thing which is evident is that Walmart and other MNCs will be immensely benefitted at the cost of many millions in the country eventually surrendering the whole lucrative sector to them at the peril of not only the vendors and shop keepers, but also of millions of farmers and of working class and owners engaged in small and medium industries.
UPA government is in a hurry to fully open up the country to MNCs and other imperialist agencies, pauperizing the masses and devastating the country, taking orders from the imperialist masters. It is the task of the revolutionary left and democratic forces to beat back this reactionary offensive of the compradors in power, running the ruling system.