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Govt retains multi-brand retail FDI at 51%
May '15
Facing criticism on retail FDI issue, the government has sought to downplay the continuation of the policy permitting 51per cent FDI in the multi-brand retail sector saying the BJP's stand remains the same on the matter, according to media reports.

The government recently released its latest consolidated FDI policy which has retained previous UPA regime's decision allowing foreign retailers to open multi-brand stores with 51 per cent ownership.

The BJP in its general election manifesto last year had opposed foreign investment in multi-brand retail sector, but after forming the government it has not reversed the UPA policy.

"I have not taken a new policy, I have not taken a new stand other than what my party had won its election on," commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters in New Delhi.

"There has not been any change in the policy on FDI in multi-brand retail... BJP won the election based on what it had said in its election manifesto," she said.

The minister said that there has been no change in FDI policy on multi-brand retail which was brought by previous UPA government through an executive order.

"We have not even gone back to look at it or anything of that kind is just what is put into the compendium," she said.

The latest edition of the annual FDI document also incorporates all policy changes effected over the past one year in sectors like defence, insurance and railways.

The multi-brand retail was opened up for foreign direct investment, with a 51 per cent cap, in September 2012, when the Congress-led UPA government was in power.

"Let's just be absolutely clear on that. It is a compendium ... If there has to be a one point reference compendium somewhere to know what is the FDI in any of these segments or ministries or departments, you need a document which speaks about it all in one place. And that is exactly what we have done from the Ministry to compile it," Sitharaman said. (SH)

Fibre2fashion News Desk – India

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