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Traders' body attacks government on FDI in retail

 

PRATHAM DWIVEDI | New Delhi, October 4, 2012 21:21
Tags : CAIT | FDI in retail | UPA |
 

Confederation of All India TradersTraders's body, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), on Thursday alleged that the government has used flawed and exaggerated figure of post-harvest losses of agricultural produce to justify its decision to allow FDI in retail.

Challenging the government’s repeated argument that 40 per cent wastage of fruits and vegetable is alarming and therefore FDI in retail was required to develop back end infrastructure, CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said,

“This claim of the government is wrong and the government is misleading and cheating the country over the issue.”

Citing  a detailed study commissioned by the government and conducted by Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Panjab, Khandelwal added, “The wasteage of fruits is only between 6 to 18 per cent and vegetable is between 6 to 12.5 per cent.”

The Ministry of Food Processing Industry had asked the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) to conduct a study on post-harvest losses, which in turn had asked CIPHET to conduct the study.

"Minister of state for Food Processing Industries Charan Das Mahant also informed the Parliament that cumulative wastage in fruits and vegetables is estimated between 5.8 pc and 18 pc,” Khandelwal explained.

Khandelwalalso said that despite these facts being in public domain the government has been misleading the people for the past two years.

The argument by government to allow FDI in retail was that as per industry estimates, around 35-40 per cent of fruits and vegetables and nearly 10 per cent of food grains go waste due to lack of sufficient storage facilities.

Khandelwal also quoted three reports which say that in USA and Canada, where global retail giants operate, their business activities are actually facing wastage of 40 per cent food.

The UPA government which recently allowed 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, is already facing flak from opposition over the issue. It's former ally Trinamool Congress has pulled out of the government over the same issue.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017