New Delhi: The government may have been
forced to put FDI in multi-brand retail on hold, but Commerce
and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said the decision was taken
out of conviction with full backing of the Congress party.
"Why roll back? We have acted out of conviction ...
carefully thought it through," Sharma said in an interview to a news channel.
The interview was recorded before the announcement by
Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata
Banerjee that the controversial decision on allowing 51 per
cent FDI in multi-brand retail has been put on hold till there
is a political consensus.
Sharma thought liberalising the sector would send
positive signals to global investors showing that India "has
When asked whether the decision which was announced in
the midst of Parliament session, had the backing of UPA
Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress General Secretary Rahul
Gandhi, Sharma said the party was one on the issue.
Quizzed by the interviewer Karan Thapar about silence of
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on the issue, he said: "Where is
the silence? You think the Congress spokespersons can
articulate complete support without party endorsement.
Congress spokespersons never speak without authorisation of
He said opening of the retail sector to foreign investors
was in the interest of the small farmers and industry and
these segments are close to the Congress leadership.