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Govt was forced to relax FDI norms as no investment was coming: Anand Sharma


Pallavi Ghosh,CNN-IBN
Aug 03, 2013 at 08:57am IST

New Delhi: Justifying UPA's decision to relax investment norms in multi-brand retail and to raise FDI caps in several sectors, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said that investors were not forthcoming.

In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN, the Congress leader said that his party is not worried that this move may have alienated possible allies in the future like the TMC.

Here is the transcript of an excerpt from the interview:

Pallavi Ghosh: You relaxed norms, is it because you were not getting any investors?

Anand Sharma: It's a fact that investors wanted more clarity and more flexibility and we needed to do this to reassure both Indian as well as global investors.

Pallavi Ghosh: But this means that the BJP, the Left and the TMC will be antagonised?

Anand Sharma: Who is the BJP to say this? We are in the government and policies are decided by governments and not those who are in the Opposition.

Pallavi Ghosh: Even if it means you get no allies?

Anand Sharma: We don't care. We need to do what is good for the country.

Pallavi Ghosh: And what about Modi? He has been able to do what UPA has not.

Anand Sharma: Best of luck to the BJP for Modi. We cannot do what Modi has done. He has done nothing in Gujarat, all social indices are down.

Opening the floodgates to overseas investors, the government on Thursday relaxed investment norms in multi-brand retail and raised FDI caps in several sectors while making it 100 per cent in telecom. The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh diluted the mandatory 30 per cent local sourcing norms for multi-brand retailers and permitted states to include cities with population less than 1 million for allowing multi-brand retailing.

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