The Government will take a decision on allowing Foreign Direct Investment in the multi-brand retail sector at the right time as it is seized of the issue, Economic Affairs Secretary R Gopalan said.
He, however, did not give any time-frame saying that the political process will take care of that. “There is always a right time to take these kind of decisions and Government is seized of this issue and therefore, I think, it is too early for me to say, when the decision will be announced,” he said.
Asked when will be the right time to announce the decision, he said, “but the political process would take care of what is the right time to announce.” The UPA government is facing stiff resistance from allies like Trinamool Congress and opposition on allowing FDI in retail sector.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has begun wider consultations with stakeholders, including farmers, consumers and the food processing industry.
Last month, former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said the government is committed to reforms for consolidating economic strengths.
“We have further liberalised FDI in single-brand retail, and a consensus for operationalising the decision taken to open FDI in multi-brand retail trading is being pursued,” Mukherjee had said.
Chief Economic Adviser Kaushik Basu recently pitched for allowing FDI in retail sector, saying it would be “highly beneficiary” for the farmers and give a major thrust to Indian exports.
Gopalan also suggested that there was “some scope to cut the (government) borrowings. We still think, there is some scope for reduction in (government) borrowing”, Gopalan said.