A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clarified on the union government’s decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership believes that it is not sure when these multi-national companies will start investing in India because of the ongoing political uncertainty.
Senior BJP leaders argued that the union government’s decision is not for the country but for some specific Congress ruled states which will confuse the investors because there are discrepancies the government’s decision.
“There are two major questions which the government should answer on FDI in multi-brand retail. Many states will have assembly elections in next one year, so what will have happen in states like Rajasthan and Delhi if there is a change of the state government.
The second big issue is if these multi-national companies open up retail outlets in Delhi, will the Uttar Pradesh government allow them to purchase material to be sold in Delhi because the Samajwadi Party is opposing FDI in multi-brand retail. We are not sure if foreign investors will be ready to come to India in such a situation where union government is formulating policies for some states and not all,” said Yashwant Sinha, former finance minister and senior BJP leader.
Sinha also questioned why Congress party had changed its stand on FDI in multi-brand retail because senior Congress member Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi had called BJP “anti-national” when NDA was in power in 2003 and had discussed issue of FDI in multi-brand retail.
“There are several ideas that come before the government. The idea of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail was also discussed by NDA but Atal Bihari Vajpayee had categorically said that NDA will not go ahead with the idea because there is no consensus on it. So we had dropped the idea.
But from being anti-national, how is that Congress party now thinks that FDI in multi-brand retail will benefit the country?” questioned Sinha.
The senior BJP leader also argued that the measures taken by the government should not be called economic reforms because these were mere administrative decisions taken by the union government.
“The government had allowed 100 FDI in food processing sector and had claimed that it will bring investment worth $25 billion but the government has only managed $325 million. If scams worth Rs.4 lakh crore didn’t happen because of the Congress party, country would not face the current economic crisis,” Sinha added.