Sharma seeks Punjab, Haryana’s support for FDI in retail

July 18th, 2012 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will meet the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana Thursday to garner support for allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

Accompanied by senior commerce and industry ministry officials, Sharma is scheduled to visit Chandigarh to discuss the issue with the two chief ministers. Chandigarh is the common capital of Punjab and Haryana.

“As part of ongoing consultation on FDI related issues including FDI in multi-brand retail, Sharma will ascertain the views of the chief ministers on the issue,” the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement.

In November last year, the union cabinet took a decision to allow upto 51 percent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. But the move is kept in abeyance due to protests from opposition as well as some of the allies of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government especially, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress.

The commerce and industry minister has been holding stakeholders’ consultations to garner support on the issue.

Sharma has written letters to chief ministers of several states, including Punjab, seeking their support for allowing overseas investments in Indian supermarkets. This is expected to remove bottlenecks from the supply chain and help curb inflationary pressure.

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