New Delhi: The
nation-wide strike against the government decision to allow
foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail and hike
diesel prices is estimated to cause losses of Rs.12,500 crore
(2.25 billion USD) to the Indian economy, the Confederation of
Indian Industry (CII) said Thursday.
"Today's bandh (strike) has been disruptive for business and trade
in many parts of the country. While an exact loss for the entire
economy is not known, it can be estimated that almost Rs.12,500
crore has been the loss to the country in terms of disruptions in
production and trade," the CII said.
The industry association said the government should not roll back
the recent reform measures under political pressure.
"Good economics seldom makes for good politics and therefore, it
is important to communicate to the masses the merit and necessity
of the reform measures announced by the government," the CII said.
In a rare show of unity, leaders of the Communist parties and the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came together to denounce the
government's decision to hike diesel prices and allow foreign
direct investments (FDI) in multi-brand retail trade.
Some allies of the UPA government, notably Mamata Banerjee-led
Trinamool Congress are also protesting against the government's
reforms decisions, but are not supporting the strike.
Adi Godrej, president, CII, expressed hope that parties across the
political spectrum would work to ensure that the much needed
economic reforms were carried out in the country.
"It is not often that bold measures are announced to take economic
reforms to the next level and whenever such announcements have
been made, there have been pain felt by many," Godrej said in a
"But the merits of the reforms that were first initiated in the
early nineties are there for everyone to see. Irrespective of
whichever political party has been in the government since then,
the reforms have not been reversed," he added.