New Delhi: Supporting the Centre`s move to
allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail,
Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal has said the
initiative will offer tremendous benefits to farmers and the
people of Punjab.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is an important ally of the
National Democratic Front (NDA), which has been strongly
opposing foreign investment in the multi-brand retail sector.
In a letter to Commerce and Industry Minister Anand
Sharma yesterday, Badal said: "We strongly believe that
opening FDI in multi-brand retail will bring in the expertise,
experience and resources of foreign retailers."
"A major beneficiary of back-end investments would be
farmers, who will gain substantially through agricultural
best-practices of international retail companies, thus
improving the quality and quantity of their yield, and will
also get better remuneration," the letter said.
Investments in supply chain infrastructure and stores
would also generate hundreds of thousands of employment
opportunities for rural and urban youth, it said, adding that
an efficient supply chain will also help decrease inflation.
"Considering these benefits, I offer my complete support
to you and your government for taking this major step that
will benefit millions of farmers and youth in our state,"
Badal said in his letter.
Yesterday, the Union Cabinet decided to allow 51 per cent
FDI in multi-brand retail sector, as well as remove the 51 per
cent cap on foreign direct investment in single-brand retail.
Recently, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi had said:
"We are opposed to FDI in retail market as it will... kill all
small traders and farmers in the long run. BJP will oppose it
in Parliament and outside."