Sunday, 16 September 2012

Opposition to Big Retail in the developed countries too

Came across this Roger Moore style documentary on Wal-Mart's business practices and ill effects of big box retail monopolies on local communities in the USA. Case in point is that there has been opposition to companies like Wal-Mart even in the country of their origin, and people have been affected adversely just as there is so much opposition in India. Yet the present central government has gone ahead and made FDI in retail policy changes without bringing everybody on board.

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price paints a sorry picture of monopolistic tendencies and unfair business practices of Wal-Mart by interviewing former employees, managers and small businesses affected by the opening of Wal-Mart stores in their towns. Big foreign stores faces stiff opposition even in the country of their origin because of monopolistic predatory pricing, shortchanging employees, squeezing suppliers and storing imported Chinese products(Chinese suppliers provide Wal-Mart with close to 70 percent goods that it sells globally each year).

Since it was clear to the Manmohan Singh government last time around when it tried to take this decision, how much opposition existed to FDI in retail, they should not have gone ahead with it. The current government may very well survive because of political horse trading with its allies but democracy has lost, when a government which got only 37% of the votes cast in 2009 general elections has taken such a fundamental decision greatly influenced by foreign governments and corporate interests. 

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