Indo-US CEO Forum asked for FDI in retail: Govt

Co-chaired by Tata Group head Ratan Tata and Honeywell Inc`s Chairman and CEO David Cote, the Forum last met in Washington in September this year.

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2011, 17:54 PM IST

New Delhi: Amidst a raging controversy over
FDI in multi-brand retail, government on Wednesday said it received a
recommendation from the Indo-US CEO Forum to open up the
sector, among other areas, for foreign investment.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State
for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia quoted the
Indo-US CEO Forum as having recommended enhancing of "Indian
foreign direct investment (FDI) policy reforms through further
opening up of key sectors such as insurance, private sector
banks, retail and defence to foreign investors".

Asked whether the government would accept these
recommendations, the minister said, " ... the policy is
reviewed on an ongoing basis with a view to making it more
investor friendly".

After the Cabinet approved 51 per cent FDI in the
multi-brand retail and removed the cap on the single brand
retail on November 24, the government has come under attack
not only from the Opposition but also from the UPA allies -
Trinamool Congress and the DMK.

These parties have forced stalling of Parliament for the
last four days demanding a roll-back of the decision, whereas
the government has indicated no reversal of the policy.

The Indo-US CEO Forum was constituted in July 2005 as a
major initiative for enhancing bilateral trade and investment.

It was reconstituted in November 2009 by President Barack
Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and comprises 12
Indian and 12 US CEOs.

Co-chaired by Tata Group head Ratan Tata and Honeywell
Inc`s Chairman and CEO David Cote, the Forum last met in
Washington in September this year.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Commerce and Industry
Minister Anand Sharma, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman
Montek Singh Ahlulwalia attended the Washington meeting.

PTI