Gogoi supports Centre on FDI issue
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 01, 2011, 19:14
  
Guwahati: Extending his support to the decision of the Congress-led UPA government to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday termed it a "step in the right direction."

"I whole-heartedly support the government's decision on FDI...It should have been taken much earlier", Gogoi told reporters here.

Underscoring that of the total investment, 50 per cent has been made mandatory in rural infrastructure alone, he said "this will go a long way in bringing about a sea change in rural economy."

"The decision will boost agriculture and allied sectors, manufacturing, logistics, integrated cold chains, refrigerated transportation and food processing facilities in a big way," Gogoi said.

Stating that 30 per cent of the produce will have to be sourced from small and micro industries, Gogoi said "this will give a big fillip to domestic manufacturing and value addition."

"In no way will small retailers be affected. On the other hand they will grow and flourish," he claimed.

Criticising the BJP-led NDA, Gogoi said, "the same party which had dubbed opening up FDI in retail as good for the country is now singing a different tune."

"This exposes their double standards, the desperation to discredit the UPA government for political mileage," he said.

The chief minister also accused the BJP "and its allies" of working against the progress and prosperity of the country. "They are hell-bent on fomenting disturbances to vitiate the atmosphere to oust the UPA government," he added.

Recalling his stint with the Ministry of Food Processing at the Centre, Gogoi said, "while the BJP had vehemently opposed the opening up of the Indian markets to Coca Cola, Pepsi, McDonald, Kellogs, nowadays these foreign companies are very much present in the BJP-ruled states."

"Their presence has not affected the food sector in any way but brought about healthy competitiveness and ensured quality food products," the chief minister added.

Gogoi also expressed surprise at the role of DMK and Trinamool Congress on the matter.

The CM was talking to reporters even as a country-wide trade bandh, called by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), was observed during the day against the UPA government's decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and 100 per cent in single brand retail.

On his government allowing foreign companies to set up retail outlets in Assam, Gogoi skirting a direct reply said, "the state governments have the option to allow or not allow them."

"If they are allowed, the companies will provide better seeds for the agriculture produce benefiting both the retailers and consumers," he said.

"Let the bill be passed first and then we will decide. If some investment comes for food processing, then I am in favour of allowing FDI here," he said.

"I welcome anybody who comes to invest in Assam", the chief minister added.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, December 01, 2011, 19:14


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