The government argues that this move will benefit consumers by bringing down food and other prices as well as help farmers and other small suppliers. (An unstated motive is that it will bring in more capital from large corporations eyeing the potentially huge Indian market.) But these arguments can all be challenged.
The employment impact is likely to be very negative. The retail trade in India employs about 40 million – mostly very small-scale traders who are largely self-employed, who would not be able to compete with large organised corporations. It has been estimated that one Walmart can displace up to 1,400 small stores, costing around 5,000 jobs.
Yes, jobs are very nice things for the people that have them. But to the consumer or producer jobs are a cost, not a benefit. Taking 5,000 jobs out of the cost structure by building a supermarket thus benefits consumers by taking the cost of 5,000 jobs out of the cost structure.