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Retailers not fearing FDI

This refers to the Op-ed article ‘Who gains from FDI in retail’. Recently, I worked on a UGC- sponsored research project, ‘Dynamics of retail and consumer growth in India’. A detailed survey was conducted across four metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. The findings of the survey are contrary to the views expressed by the writer, Sukhpal Singh.

The main findings of my survey point out that the unorganised retailers experienced a decline in their volume of business and profit in the initial years after the entry of large organised retailers. The adverse impact on sales and profit weakened over time. 

There was no evidence of a decline in overall employment in the unorganised sector as a result of the entry of organised retailers. Instead, there has been a competitive response from traditional retailers through improved business practices and technology upgradation. A majority of unorganised retailers were keen to stay in the business and compete, also wanting the next generation to continue likewise.

Unorganised retailers enjoy significant competitive strength that includes consumer goodwill, credit sales, amenability to bargaining, ability to sell loose items, convenient timings and home delivery. Small manufacturers, in general, are yet to feel any major impact of organised retail as a large number of unorganised retailers continue to constitute their clientele. They are optimistic about the future expansion of business with the spread of organised retail. In the light of this, I think there is nothing to fear from FDI in retail; rather it will bring improved quality and better after-sales services, and will be beneficial to the consumers as well as the producers.

Dr MANDEEP SINGH, Yamunanagar


The editorial ‘A bold decision: FDI in retail may cut waste, prices’ (November 26) was a timely and balanced analysis. On any scale, the decision is bound to be beneficial for the majority of the Indian population. Used with proper checks and balances, FDI is in the interest of retailers, suppliers as well as consumers. The problem lies only with the political parties. Opening of branded retail stores like Wills, LG, Nokia, Zodiac and many more has not affected the sales in ‘rehri markets’.

Dr V K ANAND, Bathinda


Consumers feel that FDI in retail trade would help them get rid of many problems. There is no parking space available in congested markets; shopkeepers are not giving 100 per cent value for money; small traders indulge in adulteration; benefits of numerous schemes announced by manufacturer are never passed on to the consumers. The return of defective or sub-standard goods is never encouraged. You can find pests and droppings in the goods due to poor food storage. The margin of profit in the long chain of commission agents, suppliers, retailers and multilevel handling and transportation adds to 25-50% additional cost to the consumers.


Need to introspect

The editorial ‘Condemnable attack’ (November 26) is praiseworthy. Neither Sharad Pawar nor UPA is solely responsible for the rampant corruption and inflation plaguing the country. Corruption is a disease which has spread throughout the country irrespective of the party in power at the Centre or in the states. Right from a government peon to a local trader, panchayat member to an MP, top industrialists to bureaucrats, all of them are bound together by the strings of corruption. Politicians have not descended from the sky. They are mere representatives of the corrupt society that we live in. Instead of venting anger by slapping a particular individual, Indians should learn to introspect a bit.



The attacker, Harvinder Singh, claimed that he was agitated over rising prices and corruption. The series of attacks on prominent politicians have proved that our democracy is in danger of losing legitimacy if the elected representatives fail to meet public expectations. Our representative institutions including Parliament no longer command people’s trust. Members of Parliament voted with the help of money and muscle power are completely out of sync with the people they claim to represent. Elected yes, but they do not represent the people who gave them the opportunity to work for the people.

The gap is growing between the rich and the poor despite impressive economic growth in recent years. Our democracy is under pressure and this has led to the emergence of forms of public anger against the ruling class. The ruling parties and politicians must learn some lesson from these attacks.



In a democracy, freedom of speech is a fundamental right of all citizens and peaceful expression of protest or dissent is warranted. To go beyond the  limits is totally unacceptable in a civilized society.

Though Sharad Pawar may not want to personally press charges against the attacker, such a person should not be allowed to go free, which may embolden many like him to indulge in similar acts of violence.

KS SIDHU, Chandigarh

Bail as a rule

The editorial ‘Bail, not jail’ (November 25) is a healthy sign to restore rule of law. The law on the subject that bail is a rule and sending to jail is an exception was upheld by the Supreme Court. After the fifties, the rule was followed throughout the country by all courts for a considerable period. In the Chandraswamy case, the Supreme Court took a somewhat different stand. The message went down that the subordinate judiciary was bound to follow the higher judiciary.

Parliament has amended Section 41 of CrPC and made it obligatory for the police officer to observe as to why arrest is necessary but the amendment is only on paper. A police officer has the same power as that of a magistrate in granting bail but it has been rarely exercised in non-bailable cases. The lower judiciary is more concerned in saving its skin lest there be some adverse comment from the higher judiciary. The police officers also do not want to take a risk. The individual accused is the sufferer and remains in custody without trial.

SS LAMBA, Chandigarh

Appropriate selection 

The BCCI selection committee has finally given up regionalism and favoritism in selecting the team. Time has gone when cricketers were selected on quota or past performances. Now a cricketer is constantly under the scanner by the selection committee and past performances are no ticket to automatic selection.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and all-rounder Yuvraj Singh have been left out of the Test squad for India’s tour of Australia. The superb performances of Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha in the current West Indies series in India got them in. We hope Zaheer Khan recovers soon to help his country give tough fight to the Aussies. Wriddhiman Saha’s selection as a wicket keeper is also praiseworthy. This is a great opportunity for Dhoni’s team to upset Australia in its own backyard.




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