Economy

Govt to inform Parliament on States backing FDI in retail: Sharma

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 03, 2011 Published on December 03, 2011




The Union Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister, Mr Anand Sharma, said on Saturday that the Government will table before the Parliament all the records on foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail trade including the letters from the States backing the Centre's move to permit FDI in the sector.

Mr Sharma also alleged that the BJP has made a U-turn over its stand on FDI in retail.

“Let Parliament start the debate. When MPs ask this question we will set the record straight. We are a responsible Government and we will not make a statement which is purely in pursuit of partisan politics. That is better left to the BJP which has made 360 degrees turn on this particular issue,” Mr Sharma told reporters after meeting a farmers' delegation from Haryana.

He added, “We have letters (from States). There are letters which the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has and there are letters which the Standing Committee of Parliament has. Parliament will get to know and whatever documents we have, if MPs ask, we will place it before them.”

The Minister said the Centre respects the right of those States which are against FDI in retail or are not ready for it, but added that they “cannot deprive those States who want it”.

He said it was “unprecedented” that executive decisions are being questioned, adding that, “We are a Constitutional democracy and this should not have happened. We have done it after consultations, trying to generate a consensus.”

On his meeting with the farmers, Mr Sharma said that they have welcomed the Government's move to allow FDI in retail and wanted the Government to stand firm as “they feel it is in their interest”.

Issues raised

“There will be investments which will lead to creation of infrastructure, warehousing, cold storage and generate employment,” he said, adding that the farmers will get a good price of their produce. Mr Sharma said farmers also raised other problems on the difficulties due to high fertiliser and diesel prices. He said he will apprise the Prime Minister and the Agricultural Minister on the issues raised by the farmers.

>arun.s@thehindu.co.in

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Published on December 03, 2011
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