New Delhi: At a time when big retailers are facing hostile environment in many states, Andhra Pradesh is prepared to roll out the red carpet to them.
“Big retail outlets are welcome in the state of Andhra Pradesh. We have got no doubt about it. Our experience in the past one year is that they are able to give better price to farmers and they are able to give consumers better products at an affordable cost,” chief Minister Y S R Reddy said.
Organised retail chains would only hurt the mediators and brokers in the farm trade business, he said, adding “they are trying to increase their turnover and reduce their margin. They are giving better rates to farmers and a better deal to consumers. I think we should encourage it”.
Asked whether big retailers would not hit millions of small shopkeepers in the state, Reddy said they “will always have their way of earning. But that does not mean if a particular thing is not remunerative, one continues the same trade and same avocation. I do not think it is right”.
Ultimately, he said, efficiency and productivity have to improve in an era of globalisation and liberalisation. “Even the farmers will not be happy if the productivity does not go up,” he said.
Reddy’s remarks assume significance in the context of organised retailers like Reliance Retail facing protests in states like Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Kerala and Jharkhand.