New Delhi: A day after Parliament cleared foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday assured the nation again and said that the reforms push will benefit both farmers and consumers. "I am confident that it will benefit the farmers, and the consumers and our country," said Manmohan.
While praising the reform policy, the Prime Minister said that the farmers, too, have supported the FDI. "Our decision to allow FDI in retail, which was approved by Parliament, was strongly supported by farmer organisations in Punjab," said Manmohan.
He also said that the 12th Plan targeted an average of 8.2 per cent growth in GDP and four per cent growth in agriculture. Speaking at Punjab Agriculture University, Manmohan also said, "India must take full advantage of modern technology and management experience of big supply chains in the food retail business."
Backing FDI, The Prime Minister said it will introduce new technology and investment in marketing agricultural produce. "The hard work of the progressive farmers of Punjab and other states made the original Green Revolution possible, and our food security.
The UPA on Friday won its second battle on the issue of FDI in retail as it defeated the Opposition's motion in Rajya Sabha as well. The government managed to get 123 votes while there were just 102 votes for the motion against FDI in retail, and as many as 19 members did not vote. The win in the Upper House came two days after the UPA on Wednesday defeated the motions by the opposition parties in the Lok Sabha. Defeating the motions comfortably in the Lok Sabha, the UPA had got 253 votes in its favour, as there were 218 votes against the government.
The United States welcomed the decision of the Indian Parliament to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, noting that this is a win-win for all from small businesses to farmers and consumers as well; besides deepening economic co-operation between the two countries. "We welcome the Indian parliament's decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail," the State Department spokesman, Mark Toner said.