Farmer association supports FDI in retail

December 22nd, 2011 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS) The government has started consultations with various stakeholders, including associations of farmers and industry bodies, to garner support for allowing foreign investment in the retail sector, the country’s largest industry.

A delegation from the Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations met Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Thursday and expressed their support for allowing overseas equity investment in multi-brand retail.

“FDI in retail will free farmers from the middleman and will get the remunerative price for the produce to the farmers,” said P. Chengal Reddy, its secretary general.

The government was recently forced to shelve the decision on allowing 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail after key allies, Trinamool Congress and DMK, joined the opposition to stall the move.

Sharma said the government was undertaking widespread consultation to convince the stakeholders about the benefits of the move. The minister has already met representatives from the small and medium enterprises.

“As supply chain efficiencies are built up, post-harvest losses will be considerably reduced, thereby enabling remunerative prices to farmers,” he said after meeting farmer representatives.

Sharma said the government’s FDI policy has a distinct Indian imprint that safeguards local farmers and small and medium enterprises.

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