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FDI in retail no threat to small traders – Manmohan Singh

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r i m e Minister Manmohan Singh was emphatic in his televised address to the nation that the government decision to allow foreign investment in retail trade would not harm small traders. Such fears are “baseless”. The decision, in fact, would benefit the farmers and consumers, reduce wastage and create more jobs for the youth. Here are excerpts from the text of his speech: Let me now turn to the decision to allow foreign investment in retail trade. Some think it will hurt small traders. This is not true. Organised, modern retailing is already present in our country and is growing. All our major cities have large retail chains. Our national capital, Delhi, has many new shopping centres. But it has also seen a threefold increase in small shops in recent years. In a growing economy, there is enough space for big and small to grow. The fear that small retailers will be wiped out is completely baseless. We should also remember that the opening of organised retail to foreign

Reaction from states Haryana CM

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda hailed the Union Cabinet’s decision to liberalise foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail trade.

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investment will benefit our farmers. According to the regulations we have introduced, those who bring FDI have to invest 50% of their money in building new warehouses, cold-storages and modern transport systems. This will help to ensure that a third of our fruits and vegetables, which at present are wasted because of storage and transit losses, actually reach the consumer. Wastage will go down; prices paid to farmers will go up; and prices paid by consumers will go down. The growth of organised retail will also create millions of good quality new jobs. We recognise that some political parties are opposed to this step. That is why state governments have been allowed to decide whether foreign investment in retail can come into their state. But one state should not stop another state from seeking a better life for its farmers, for its youth and for its consumers. In 1991, when we opened India to foreign investment in manufacturing, many were worried. But today, Indian companies are competing effectively both at home and abroad, and they are investing around the world. More importantly, foreign companies are creating jobs for our youth -- in Information Technology, in steel, and in the auto industry. I am sure this will happen in retail trade as well.

Congratulating Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his “bold initiative”, he said: “This will benefit all stakeholders, specially the farmers and the consumers, and will attract investment in Haryana which accounts for 44 per cent of the National Capital Region area and offers a huge market.” Rajasthan CM Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot welcomed the Union Cabinet’s decision allowing foreign direct

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w October 2012

investment (FDI) in multi product retail in the country. The decision, he felt, would help farmers get remunerative prices for their produce and eliminate the role of middlemen. He also hailed the Cabinet’s decision to leave the implementation of the decision to the States. “The multi brand retail and the foreign direct investment will prove a boon to the rural economy. This will help employment and enhance the income of the rural people,” said Gehlot. He said the provision for compulsory 50 per cent investment in building of cold storages would help employ lakhs of youth. Andhra CM Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said the state would welcome foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail as it would help both consumers and farmers. "I have already communicated the state's consent to the Centre." Lack of proper facilities (for processing and storage) was letting precious aqua products, vegetables and grains to rot. "There will be a lot of value-addition to our produce which will ensure quality products to the consumers at lesser prices. Obviously it will benefit the farmers as well," Reddy added. Delhi CM Welcoming the Union government's decision to allow 51% FDI in multibrand retail, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit described it as a step forward and a positive move for Delhiites. The Chief Minister feels the decision will lead to less wastage of food

AGRI BUSINESS & FOOD INDUSTRY  

India's only monthly magazine having maximum presence in National & International Exhibitions. Regular topics cover the food processing sect...

AGRI BUSINESS & FOOD INDUSTRY  

India's only monthly magazine having maximum presence in National & International Exhibitions. Regular topics cover the food processing sect...

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