New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday defended the Centre’s decision to allow 51% FDI in the retail sector and said that it will create employment opportunities and benefit the country’s economy in the long run.
Addressing the national convention of the Congress party’s Youth Wing, the PM said, “The present deadlock over the government’s decision to allow FDI in the retail sector is hampering important business in Parliament. We have not taken this decision in haste. It is, in fact, a well calculated decision, which will boost productivity and employment.”
Defending the Cabinet’s decision, Singh said, “It will certainly benefit the economy in the long run.”
Allaying fears that the entry of corporate retail giants will destroy the domestic retail market, the Prime Minister said, “Small retailers need not worry about the entry of global corporate big-wigs since we have also imposed certain safeguards to protect the interest of small retailers at home.”
“After a careful analysis of the retail sector in foreign markets, we are hopeful that both small and big retailers will flourish and prosper at the same time if FDI is allowed in this sector, which will bring latest technology and improve the agriculture sector.”
Making a fresh appeal to the Opposition, Singh said, “All issues of conflicts should be resolved through discussion in Parliament but by stalling the proceedings inside the House, our opponents are cheating the people of India.”
However, he expressed hope that the present impasse will be resolved soon.
Manmohan Singh’s statement holds significance as the all-party meeting convened today ended inconclusively with both the government and the Opposition failing to reach a consensus over the issue.
The meeting was attended by top leaders including Sushma Swaraj, LK Advani (BJP), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Sandeep Bandhopadhyay (TMC), Jayant Chowdhary (RLD), Anant Geete, Manohar Joshi (Shiv Sena), Pawan Kumar Bansal, Narayansami, Anand Sharma (Congress), Nageshwar Rao (TDP), Satish Mishra (BSP), Thambidurai, Maitran (AIADMK) and T Shiva (DMK).
During the meeting, the Opposition demanded an immediate roll back of the government’s decision on allowing 51% FDI in retail sector and threatened to disrupt the proceedings inside Parliament till the government gives an assurance in this regard.
Today’s meeting held significance as the government was seeking bi-partisan support from Opposition and key allies in a bid to reach consensus over allowing FDI in the retail sector.