FDI policy cast in stone: govt


With the Opposition threatening a stormy session in Parliament, the UPA government on Sunday defended its decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, calling it a "policy cast in stone".

Speaking to reporters on his way to Cambodia for the 10th ASEAN-India Summit along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said the decision of the executive does not require endorsement from political opponents, and was taken in a considered manner, looking at the interests of the farmer and the need for job creation.

"You cannot expect a government in office to have executive decisions vetted and endorsed either by ideological opponents, some of who have blinkers on, and by others who have vested interests," Sharma said. Speaking about the government decisions to also open up insurance and pension sectors to 49 per cent FDI, he added: "This is a policy that is cast in stone."

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has threatened to move a no-confidence motion against the government over its "anti-people" policies, including FDI in retail. The Left parties have sought a discussion on the issue under rules that require voting, all of which will bring the government under pressure in the Winter Session beginning November 22.

Sharma, however, was confident the government was on the right track. "We know that the confidence of investors in India's policy regime has been reinforced with the firmness that the government has demonstrated in taking decisions," he said, promising more reform measures soon.

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