New Delhi: Allaying concerns over FDI in multi-brand retail, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma Thursday said organised retail in the country has been there for over a decade benefitting the economy.
"The organised retail has been there in the country for last 12 years. Our companies like Tata, Birla and Reliance have set up stores in different states. Its benefits have been more than the losses," Sharma said addressing the meeting of the All India Kisan Coordination Committee (AIKCC) here.
There is no threat to kirana shops as hypermarkets would not be opened in small villages. Also, the policy will benefit farmers in a big way as they would have assured buyers for their products besides creating employment to youth, he said.
Talking about the uproar against FDI in multi-brand retail in Parliament, Sharma said that it was only a "political noise".
He said that it has been for the first time that an executive order has been debated and voted in Parliament.
"During the NDA period, whatever decision was taken -- good or bad, we have never taken them to Parliament and debated because we respected the executive order. Every elected government has right to take certain decisions. The Oppositions oppose. They oppose on everything," he said.
Last week, the government had won the approval of Parliament to its controversial decision of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail with a motion against it being defeated.
Reassuring farmers about benefits of the FDI policy, Sharma said, "Our policy is different from other countries. We have allowed 51 percent FDI with several conditions like 30 percent procurement from small and micro enterprises, investment in back-end infrastructure among others."
Farm infrastructure facilities like grading and sorting units, cold chains and warehouses would help reducing post-harvest losses and this would in turn benefit farmers, who are facing different set of challenges at present, he added.
First Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012, 18:14