Congress on Wednesday criticised the Modi government's decision to allow 100 per cent FDI through automatic route in most of e-commerce retailing, saying it would "play havoc" with five crore retailers in the country already facing the brunt of economic slowdown.
The decision by the Modi dispensation would "harm" the interests of the country and especially hit small businessmen, Congress party senior spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters in New Delhi.
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sharma, a former Union Commerce Minister said when the Congress-led UPA government had decided to open the country to multi-brand retail to help boost the economy, he (Modi) as Gujarat Chief Minister was in the forefront to oppose it.
Sharma claimed that while the earlier government had taken all precautions to protect small businessmen, yesterday's decision has come as a bolt from the blue for them.
He said already the retail trade is plagued by problems with e-commerce gaining ground.
The government decision has come with a view to attract more foreign investments.
At present, global e-retailer giants like Amazon and Ebay are operating online marketplaces in India while homegrown players like Flipkart and Snapdeal have foreign investments even as there were no clear FDI guidelines on various online retail models.