Govt committed to open retail sector to foreign investment: Anand Sharma (27-Jul-2012)
Reiterating governmentsâ€™ stand on foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail, Trade Minister Anand Sharma has said that India is committed to opening its retail sector to foreign investment and will not reverse its stance. 'We are committed, we have taken the decision and we are building a strong consensus and we are not reversing our decision,' he said. 'It is being held in abeyance, it is on pause button... But it is a political call. We want to do this and I am not the only one.'It was widely being expected that the decision on FDI in retail could be announced before the next parliament session on August 8. The decision to allow 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail was announced in November last year, but its implementation was put on hold after strong protest from various parties including some key allies of the government. Another party supporting government from outside too has said that the party has reservations over allowing FDI in retail before addressing farmers' issues.The retail sector of India is vast, and has huge potential for growth and development, as the majority of its constituents are un-organized; it contributes about 15% to the national GDP, and employs a massive workforce. But political parties have been opposing the FDI in retail saying it would exacerbate the problem of locals by causing huge unemployment.
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