Companies

PM calls all-party meet as FDI in retail puts Govt in a spot

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

FDI

Under attack by key allies and the Opposition for allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, the UPA Government went into fire-fighting mode and called an all-party meeting on Tuesday.

The decision followed the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's meeting with the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, after Parliament adjourned once again on Monday.

Two key UPA allies, the DMK and Trinamool Congress, demanded a roll-back of the Cabinet's decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, and said the Government should have consulted them before taking any major policy decisions.

“Now they (Government) have called an all-party meeting. But, what is the point when you have already decided. We want the FDI decision to be immediately withdrawn,” TMC Parliamentary Party leader, Mr Sudeep Bandopadhaya, said.

In Chennai, DMK chief, Mr M. Karunanidhi, said, “The Centre's insistence that States should go by the decision cannot be justified. We had opposed FDI in retail trade even when the idea was originally mooted”.

Left parties, too, demanded a roll-back and accused the Government of deliberately taking a decision to “derail” debates in Parliament on issues such as price rise, corruption and Lokpal.

“There is no point in having a debate on FDI in retail when a decision has already been taken. The Government should rescind the decision and then hold a discussion on it, CPI (M) Rajya Sabha MP, Mr Sitaram Yechury, said.

The BJP-led NDA has already declared that it would not allow Parliament to function till the Government withdrew its decision.

ANAND SHARMA's LETTER



Meanwhile, to quell the ire of some States, the Commerce Minister, Mr Anand Sharma, has written to MPs and State Chief Ministers.

In his letter, he said the parties should rise above “petty” partisanship and strengthen Indian political systems, adding that wide consultations were held before the decision was taken.

Mr Sharma said, “In formulating this policy, we were conscious of the livelihood concerns of millions of small retailers.” According to reports, Mr Sharma, cornered on the issue of sourcing from micro and small enterprises (MSEs) under the new FDI policy in retail, dispelled doubts saying the 30 per cent obligation before the global players was limited to India.

This is in contrast to the official note issued last week, when the Government allowed 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail and 51 per cent in multi-brand, which stated that the 30 per cent sourcing by global retailers “can be done from anywhere in the world”.

aditi.n@thehindu.co.in

Published on November 28, 2011

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