New Delhi: The government has decided to make a renewed push for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail. Commerce Minister Anand Sharma has appealed to the UPA allies to allow FDI in multi-brand retail and support other key reforms.
He said that he would personally speak to West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee to convince her to reconsider her decision.
Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Sharma said, "Mamata is a very valuable ally, FDI will not strain the alliance, but it should not lead to extreme positions."
Speaking to CNN-IBN, the Commerce Minister said he would personally speak to Mamata Banerjee to convince her.
He also said that the government is reaching out to all other Chief Ministers who have expressed reservations on FDI. "All stakeholders need to be informed. I have spoken to the Chief Ministers who expressed reservations," Sharma said.
Although the Cabinet approved 51 per cent FDI in retail on November 24, the government was forced to put it on hold in the face of strong opposition from key ally Trinamool Congress.
FDI in retail would allow global chains like Wal-Mart Stores Inc to own up to 51 per cent of retail ventures. The policy would let foreign retailers own up to 51 per cent of supermarkets and 100 per cent of single-brand stores.
The policy doesn't require parliamentary approval, but foreign retailers must get approval from state governments where stores will be located.