FDI in multi-brand retail will lift mood: Economic advisor

June 13th, 2012 - 12:05 am ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 12 (IANS) Opening up the multi-brand retail sector to foreign direct investment(FDI) would lift the economic mood and largely benefit farmers and small exporters, the government’s top economist said late Tuesday.

“I feel even a small reform like FDI in multi-brand retail will be a mood up-lifter, as it will benefit our farmers in a big way and even small producers will be able to export to global chain suppliers,” the finance ministry’s Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu told reporters at a function here.

Defending the policy to open up the retail sector to multi-brands, Basu said once global chains invest in the country, they open up channels for small producers to access overseas markets and farmers can become a source of supplies to them.

“Once these global chains come to India, you basically open up the markets to exports. We have seen this happening in China, Indonesia and other countries where the retail sector was opened up for multi-brand products and services,” Basu said after delivering the ‘Fourth Raj Bhavan Dr V.K.R.V. Rao Memorial Lecture’.

Admitting that all-out support was lacking, the noted economist said though there was consensus among the top leaders on allowing FDI in the multi-brand retail segment, there was resistance to implement it due to compulsions of coalition politics.

“In a democracy, we have to take along all of them. I just hope it will happen soon as it is very unfair to hold it up,” Basu added.

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