The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has referred a complaint of the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) on the $16 billion Walmart-Flipkart deal to the Reserve Bank of India, the Enforcement Directorate, the Competition Commission of India and the Income Tax Department. The sangh’s economic offshoot Swadeshi Jagran Manch had alleged that US retail giant Walmart was circumventing rules for a back-door entry into India with its majority stake acquisition of Flipkart.
The SJM’s co-convener Ashwani Mahajan had also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to ensure that interest of those at the bottom of the pyramid in retail and agriculture space was safeguarded. The letter came the same day when Walmart acquired 77 per cent stake in Flipkart and a copy of it was dispatched to the commerce minister Suresh Prabhu. A similar letter was also sent to the DIPP secretary Ramesh Abhishek.
The DIPP, which comes under jurisdiction of the commerce ministry, in an office memorandum said the SJM’s complaint was referred to the Enforcement Directorate, the Reserve Bank of India, the Competition Commission of India and the Income Tax Department.
“It is requested that the matter may be examined and appropriate action be taken,” the DIPP said in the memorandum. Earlier, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch had said that this deal would further eliminate the small and medium businesses, small shops, and opportunity to create more jobs. Most of these small entrepreneurs were already battling for their existence; entry of Walmart will further create problems for them. Mahajan also alleged that there was a series of violations of law in allowing the deal to happen.