Speaker Meira Kumar rejects BJP, Left demand for separate debates on FDI, FEMA
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Swaraj also said claims that farmers will benefit from the move was "baseless" as the experience of the European Union shows that farmers are forced to sell their produce below production cost to large retail chains.
"A fool learns from his own experience, while a wise man learns from the experience of others," she said.
She claimed that the most likely scenario would be that retail chains would not buy products from small and medium farmers at all and supported her contention by giving the example of Pepsi in Punjab which rejected locally produced potatoes and tomatoes as being below standards.
She said even McDonalds was importing potatoes from abroad and not buying the produce locally.
"You are from the state which produces apples...a local whole-seller would take out a damaged apple and sell the consignment. But the bigger chains will reject the entire consignment. When people will come to your doorsteps with their grievances, you won't be able to help them," Swaraj told Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.
The BJP leader said even US President Barack Obama is supporting the 'small business Saturday' campaign by going to small shops to support their business. Swaraj used the debate to target Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who was present, on her statement that fastest pace of development has been witnessed by UPA-II government.
"Except for seven years, there had been Congress governments between 1952 and 2012...were you challenging the government headed by your mother-in-law (Indira Gandhi) or the one headed by your husband (Rajiv Gandhi)," she posed.
"Who were you referring to," Swaraj asked.
Gandhi shot back saying she was referring to "you" (BJP). She said when Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi was Congress Chief Whip during NDA rule, he had brought a Calling Attention Motion
terming "alleged" moves by the then government for FDI in retail as "anti-national".
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