Monday, 5 December 2011

The Foreign Funda

Its one of those conversations. I'm lazily slumped on the couch as I type this - after having broken my no-meal-post-7 pm rule for Mom's yummylicious Haleem and Creme Caramel. With just a generous helping of fish biryani (Minus the fish, of course). I read articles online and discuss them with Dad. I love every bit about that - even though he did spend a fair share of his life abroad, he has all the knowledge in the world. Today its about the FDI War - to let go of the strings or tie them even tighter.

Allowing 51 percent FDI in multi brand retail sure is a controversial topic. I can easily sketch the likes of Wal Mart, Carrefour and other giants redefining the Indian shopping experience. Impeccable Service, quality produce and wider choices.  On the other hand, we have the classic tale of our country being the kickass agricultural economy. Once the biggies sweep in, the kiranas (small stores) will be sidelined. More like butchered.

Now's when Dad helped me with the reality check. The truth is, our farmers have always been poor and will most likely remain so. Here's why - the only people that make money now are the kiranas. When a farmer sells a kilogram of bananas, he gets Rs.10. The same is sold for Rs.30 by the middleman. Tomatoes have an even sadder story - a figure of Rs.2 compared to a whopping selling price of Rs.18. Its a sad story - They spend sleepless nights to bring about the yield and someone else gets away with the fruits of the painstaking effort. Not surprisingly, a large number of farmers favour the proposal. To teach everyone a fine lesson. And the argument that farmers will be exploited doesn't hold in my view. The ball will definitely be in their court.

Maybe a phased out plan will provide to be the solution. Bring about the change gradually. Much as you hate it or ignore it, you can't deny the change that it will initiate. IKEA will change your homes. Carrefour will bring French Croissants right to your pantry. You will know why everyone's bonkers over Starbucks. And not to forget the best part of it all, our farmers will become worrrld class :)

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