New Delhi: Food and Consumer Affairs Minister K V Thomas on Tuesday apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the progress made in setting of a high-level panel to discuss internal trade issues that may arise after the government allowed FDI in multi-brand retail.
In September, the Cabinet gave green signal to 51 percent Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail. It had also directed setting up of a high-level committee under the chairmanship of the Consumer Affairs Minister to make recommendations to the government on internal trade reforms.
"I met Prime Minister and apprised him of the Committee on Internal Trade reforms. I briefed him on the finalisation of the members list and terms of reference of the committee," Thomas told PTI after the meeting with PM.
Asked when the committee would hold its first meeting, the minister said: "Most probably, we will meet in the current month. In the first meeting, we will also discuss about setting up of sub-committees among other issues in this regard".
The Committee will interact with state governments and traders to find out their difficulties following FDI in multi-brand retail and come out with solutions, he added.
Thomas also briefed the Prime Minister about the foodgrains procurement, distribution through ration shops and storage situation in the country besides steps taken by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to curb misleading advertisements and wastage of food.
Government's decision to allow 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail prompted UPA ally Trinamool Congress to withdraw support to the government. Other political parties including opposition BJP and Left parties too expressed their reservations on opening of multi-brand retail to FDI.