Govt fudged FDI data deliberately: CAIT

Harvest loses

Traders body CAIT today said the government has "deliberately" exaggerated the figures of post-harvest losses in fruits and vegetables at 40 per cent to permit FDI in multi-brand retail.

Quoting a study, the association said that the wastage in fruits is up to 18 per cent, while in vegetables, the losses are up to 12.5 per cent.

CAIT, which is strongly opposing the government's decision to allow 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, said the Centre is citing "false and misleading" information to aid and abet the entry of multinationals into the country.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has time and again said that because of inadequate infrastructure in the agriculture sector, over 40 per cent of fruits and vegetables perish before reaching the market.

"The Union Government has deliberately exaggerated figures of post-harvest losses of agricultural produce to justify its decision of allowing FDI in retail," it said in a statement here.

"In reality, as per a study commissioned by the government and conducted by Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology, Punjab, the wastage of fruits is only between 6 to 18 per cent and vegetables is between 6 to 12.5 per cent," it added.

CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal claimed that the report was prepared at the direction of parliamentary committee of Parliament.

He said that the CIPHET study was given to the government in July 2010.

"The government has been misleading the nation for the past two years on this issue," he added.

Quoting the study, he said that the wastage in other items like cereals is at 4.3-6.1 per cent.

It appealed the government to withdraw its on FDI in retail.

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