New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Saturday sought a wider debate on whether to open up Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail before a final decision is taken by the Centre on the issue.
Dikshit, speaking at the National Development Council meet here, said a large number of people of India earn their livelihood from retail activities and impact of opening up the
sector to FDI on domestic retailers will have to be examined.
"There is a need to deliberate on this policy before any conclusion is drawn," she said.
The Commerce and Industry Ministry had earlier this month said there was a case for opening up of the sector to FDI saying it would not only help farmers earn more but also keep the price-line under check.
The Delhi chief minister also sought changes in guidelines under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission and said the Centre needs to take into account increasing cost of
land and building material while allocating funds under the scheme to the states.
Seeking proper attention at the "highest level" to address urban poverty, she said slums are the "most visible manifestation of urban poverty" and as well as "failure" of
urban development process in the country.
Favouring concrete efforts for skill development of workforce, she said low productivity of labour force has been affecting the growth process.
Talking about the economy of the country, Dikshit said there was a need to control non-plan expenditure including some of the subsidies which have either become "redundant or dysfunctional".
The chief minister also expressed serious concern over indiscriminate exploitation of ground water. She said there has been a steady increase of requirement of potable water in urban areas because of rising population pressure on account of migration from rural areas.
"An integrated water management policy, on which the Planning Commission is working, should be taken up before the 12th Plan begins," she added.
Dikshit highlighted various initiatives of her government in areas such as health, education, women and child development.
She also sought more emphasis by the Centre on i0mprovement of road based public transport in the country.
On the power sector, she said Delhi will soon become a power surplus state as several new power generation plants are coming up.