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Need more debate on FDI in retail: Gadkari

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Nitin Gadkari

Once it comes to power, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) focus areas would be infrastructure, agriculture, power and housing. Also on the cards is diversifying agriculture into energy and power sectors to help farmers generate more income, apart from reconsidering opening up the economy to multi-brand retail.

This was conveyed by BJP president Nitin Gadkari in an interview to India Inc, a London-based portal, ahead of his six-day visit to London.

About retail, Gadkari said, “The BJP has always been at the forefront of economic reforms and believes the government’s role is confined to drafting sound laws and enforcing them strictly. The actual job of carrying out economic activities should be left to non-governmental business enterprises. BJP is not against FDI per se, and has always welcomed foreign investments in areas where large-scale capital investment or advanced technology is involved,” he said.

The retail sector was somewhat different in India, he said. Organised retail formed less than 15 per cent of the sector, the rest being unorganised small retailers. This large-scale unorganised sector had generated huge employment across the country, he added.

“Several reports and studies have given the perception that if organised multi-brand retail sector is opened to foreign investments, it may hamper the interests of these small, unorganised retailers. Therefore, the BJP suggests the need for more debate on the subject so that their interests are protected, even as adequate funds are made available to the organised retail sector to grow,” he said.

In recent times, large-scale corruption at the highest level had dented India’s image as an attractive investment destination, Gadkari said. “The country needs a proactive approach, fast-track decision making, transparency, accountability in governance and reducing red tapism. These things are key to good governance,” he said.

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First Published: Sun, July 17 2011. 00:59 IST
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