Don’t roll back reform measures: FICCI

September 19th, 2012 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) Any rollback of the recent reform measures like allowing foreign investment in multi-brand retail and hike in diesel prices to reduce subsidy would raise questions about the government’s ability to take policy decisions and dampen business sentiment, a leading industry lobby said Wednesday.

“The government should not roll back… It will send a signal that the government is not capable of taking decisions,” said R V Kanoria, president, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Kanoria said the growing controversy over the government’s decision to allow overseas investments in retail and aviation sectors was unfortunate.

The government last week took a decision to allow upto 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail and opened up the aviation sector to 49 percent investment by foreign airlines.

The government has also announced the sharpest ever Rs.5 per litre or 12 percent increase in diesel price.

These decisions have created political turmoil in the country with a key ally of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress deciding to pull out from the government demanding a rollback.

Opposition parties have called nationwide strike Thursday protesting against the government’s decision.

Addressing a media conference here, FICCI president urged political parties to reconsider their decision to go for the strike saying it would cause huge loss to the economy.

“FICCI urges all parties to reconsider such proposed actions as these will result not only in national losses which the nation can ill-afford, but also directly affect mainly the poorer sections of society and daily wage earners,” he said.

Kanoria claimed that the FDI in retail would help create jobs and benefit consumers.

“There is a large consumer base in India which is capable of buying,” he said.

“We urge the government to consider proceeding with much needed deeper reforms, as the steps taken in the past week have signalled just a start to a comprehensive reforms process,” he said.

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