Published October 1, 2012 | 8:57 am
New Delhi:The Congress Monday stressed that FDI in multi-brand retail would not pose a threat to small shopkeepers and said it would hold a rally – to be addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh – in the capital on Oct 28 to explain the economic move to the people.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, addressing a gathering of farmers, retailers and Congress party workers at her residence here, said the rally would also be addressed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and other senior leaders.
Asserting that foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail will not be a threat for small retail shops, Dikshit slammed those spreading “misinformation” and said: “Kirana stores will not close.”
Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma told the gathering that when the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was in power it had prepared a cabinet note favouring 100 percent FDI in multi-brand retail.
Sharma slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for trying to “mislead” the country on the issue and said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has taken the decision on FDI in multi-brand retail with “conviction” and “clarity” and there will be no rethinking on it.
“We have framed the policy considering the ground realities and the social and economic disparities in the country,” he said.
He also asserted that the government took the decision to allow 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail considering the economic fundamentals and ground realities of the country and the BJP’s opposition was a reflection of the party’s “hollowness”.
The gathering at Dikshit’s house took place on a day Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee held a party rally against FDI at Jantar Mantar here.
The Trinamool withdrew from the UPA government Sep 21 to protest FDI in multi-brand retail, a cap on cooking gas cylinders’ supply and hike in diesel price.