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Jul 12, 2012, 08.23 AM | Source: CNBC-TV18

Congress ruled states to go ahead with FDI in retail

CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan reports that all Congress ruled states have been asked to go ahead with FDI in the retail sector.

Shereen Bhan

Managing Editor, CNBC-TV18

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The government seems all prepared to give a strong push to the reforms agenda, and the latest is action on the issue of foreign direct investment in retail. CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan reports that all Congress ruled states have been asked to go ahead with FDI in the retail sector.

This is the most logical way to go about bringing in FDI in multi-brand retail because it does not require Parliamentary nod or sanction. Commerce Minister Anand Sharma has been making it very clear, as have other members of this government, that they are keen to push forward with FDI in multi-brand retail. Anand Sharma has even written to all chief ministers on June 19 asking them to come on board.

The government had tried to push this reform through earlier, but it was an aborted attempt. At that time they had very clearly said that eventually the license has to be given by the state government, so whether or not the state wants to allow FDI in multi-brand retail is the state prerogative and the final authority rests with the states.

That’s exactly what the government is trying to do this time around. The government is saying that if states want FDI in multi-brand retail, join the bandwagon; if they don’t, that’s their prerogative. If the Congress ruled states do play ball and welcome FDI in multi-brand retail, it is going to be interesting to see whether other states like Gujarat etc which have been actually waiting for FDI in multi-brand retail will follow suit or not, or will this really become a Congress versus the Ppposition sort of a game. But this is certainly an interesting move.

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