Mumbai: Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma today said no state will be forced to implement FDI in multi-brand retail, even as the key ruling front ally Mamata Banerjee opposed opening of the sector.
“No state will be forced to implement FDI in multi-brand retail,” Sharma told reporters after inaugurating the India International Jewellery Expo here.
Though some states are not in its favour, they too will gradually see the benefit of it, he said adding opening up of the sector would help farmers, consumers as well as small entrepreneurs as integrated infrastructure will benefit the rural economy.
He said as many as 10 states have endorsed the Centre’s decision to allow foreign investment in the sector.
“The chief ministers of top 10 states have already extended their support to Centre’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, stating the move will improve availability of quality goods and enhance competitiveness,” Sharma said.
Earlier in the day, the key UPA ally Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee strongly opposed FDI in key sectors like retail, insurance and aviation arguing it would be harmful for the people of the country.
“We are not in favour of FDI in retail and all this (insurance)… and pension sectors. We are not in favour of FDI in aviation also. Always we are in favour of common people,” Banerjee said.
The government has not been able to go ahead with the implementation of FDI in multi-brand retail even after securing the Cabinet approval.
On SEZs, Sharma said the government would shortly come out with the fresh special economic zones guidelines.
“The department of Commerce, Commerce Secretary, the DGFT and other senior officials are presently engaged in dialogue with the Finance Ministry over some revenue and taxation related issues. The new SEZ guidelines will be notified shortly,” Sharma said.