It is true that the Indian economic climate needs to be improved, especially in view of the negative signals given in the Budget. However, opening up FDI in retail is not the relevant solution. First of all you are trying to do something in haste. You could not do this when Parliament was in session because Congress allies objected to it. Now they are allowing Congress-ruled states to go ahead. These are matters of national policy. I don’t think Congress-ruled states are empowered to do this. Suppose the BJP-ruled states go ahead with a national policy, will you allow it? So what you cannot do through the front door shouldn’t be done through the back door. FDI in retail is a matter which should be debated thoroughly in the country and in Parliament and then a proper view should be taken. Having said that, it is true that certain measures should be taken to boost the economy because the US economy and the Eurozone are still facing difficult times. India is a large country with a vast population. We have our own market and we need not be depressed just because world economies are not doing well. We can take several steps due to which our own economy keeps growing at a reasonable rate. However FDI in retail is hardly a solution. We are just giving an opportunity to the US and other Western powers to push their economy at our cost. We should find home-grown solutions. The Government has go
t enough intelligent people to find solutions to boost the Indian economy without taking steps which in the long run are not gainful.
Certain steps should be initiated to keep inflation under check. A welcome development is adjustment of petroleum prices which should be adjusted every month in a certain proportion to the world crude price. There should be a special task force which should find the correct formula so that petroleum prices do not become a subject of political wheeling dealing and protests. Nobody likes an increase in any prices, especially petroleum prices which affect a large number of people. However, international crude prices are not in our hands and a formula should be found agreeable to all the states and the Congress and its allies so that the price is automatically adjusted every month by the oil companies. Similarly, in the case of food grains, the commodity exchanges should be examined, because since the commodity exchanges have come food prices have been artificially inflated. If we are having a bumper harvest, why should the prices go up? It is alright to say that consumption is going up but production too is going up so the prices should not increase beyond a certain level. Commodity exchanges should be examined critically and if it is found that the commodity exchange mechanism has disturbed the previously stable food grain market, commodity exchanges should be abolished if necessary.