Beware of scare-mongers on FDI in retail: Sharma

Beware of scare-mongers on FDI in retail: Sharma
New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Wednesday asked the industry not to be misled by the "scare-mongers" who say that Walmart would finish the domestic trade if FDI in multi-brand retail is allowed.
     
"Are we lacking in confidence. Beware of scare-mongers. When the Kentucky Fried Chicken or Pizza Huts came, they said Bikanerwalas or Haldirams would (vanish). They have all thrived and gone global," Sharma said at the Ficci annual general meeting here.
     
He said farmers as also the consumers would benefit if foreign investment is allowed in the retail sector, as building of the back-end supply chain would help in reduction of wastages.
     
"Whose jobs will be taken away if 35 or 45 percent wastages in fruits or vegetables is stopped," he asked, hitting out at some political parties which opposed the November 24 decision forcing the government to put it on hold.
     
Without naming the BJP, he said the previous government was also in support of the opening of the sector.
     
"Change of seat should not change ideology. Consensus must never be confused with unanimity," he said, adding if only unanimity was required on all the decisions then, "we might as well take samadhi here".
     
Referring to a perception of delays in decision-making, he said," as a government, we are all concerned. Nobody wants India to fail".
     
He said the government is committed towards an "enduring partnership" with the industry which should express its opinion in a frank manner.
     
Sharma said the government did take several key decisions, including the new manufacturing policy which would lead building a world class infrastructure project- Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor.

PTI