Multi-brand retail will take off: Anand Sharma

Amiti Sen Richa Mishra New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 02, 2013

Anand Sharma, Minister for Commerce and Industry — Kamal Narang

A day after seeking Cabinet nod on relaxing the Foreign Direct Investment policy norms, Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma is confident that there will be no major obstructions in getting foreign investments in the multi-brand retail sector.

Stating that the Opposition was indulging in ‘partisan politics’, Sharma said the Government hopes to bring amendments to the Foreign Exchange Management Act at the earliest to align it with the FDI policy.

Decisions such as relaxing FDI norms are taken after deliberations with the stakeholders as well as factoring in political repercussions, Sharma told Business Line in an interview.

“We have taken decisions. This means we would have looked at all these aspects and gone ahead,” Sharma said when asked if he expected trouble in Parliament while amending FEMA.

It may be recalled that the UPA had a tough time getting FEMA amendment passed in Parliament the first time round after the Cabinet approved 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail last September. Only a last minute floor management by the Government, leading to both the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party not casting their negative votes, saw the amendment through.

“In the case of the Left, they have ideological blinkers and I can understand ideological opposition. But the BJP only has a partisan agenda…,” Sharma said.

On Thursday, both the BJP and the CPI (M) said the Government had indiscriminately changed the criterion for allowing FDI in multi-brand retail and it would be challenged in Parliament.

The Minister rubbished any allegations that the Jet-Etihad deal was pushed through to appease the UAE Government, which reportedly was upset about the treatment given to their telecom company Etisalat.

“It is not a question of commitments. We don’t make commitments with regard to business transactions. That goes through proper scrutiny process,” he added.



Published on August 02, 2013
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