BJP accuses government of flip-flop on FDI in retail

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) The BJP Friday hit out at the UPA government over easing the norms relating to FDI in multi-brand retail, saying it had gone back on its own arguments and its "flip-flop" had made India look like a banana republic to foreign investors.

Talking to reporters here, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi alleged that easing of norms of foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail had come "after specific lobbying by global retailers like Walmart and Tesco".

She said the government Thursday eased norms for FDI in multi-brand retail by diluting contentious 30 percent sourcing clause and allowing foreign chains to set up stores in cities which have population less than ten lakh.

"It is shameful that almost a year since the UPA government allowed FDI in Multi-brand Retail there has been no significant foreign investment to speak of," Lekhi said.

She said the government should explain why it had framed clauses in an "unthinking manner that it had to rescind them in one year on request of foreign retailers".

Lekhi said it was surprising that the government had also relaxed rules relating to back-end infrastructure.

"This was one of the biggest arguments made by the UPA to justify its decision on FDI in multibrand retail. This flip-flop by the UPA is symptomatic of the irrational manner in which it has gone about economic policymaking," she said.

Lekhi said that the United Progressive Alliance government has been unable to arrest the slide of rupee and was expecting to shore up its value through big investments by foreign retailers.

"If the UPA had paid more attention to infrastructure sector and demonstrated better stewardship, we perhaps would not be in this situation with policy flip-flops that make us look like a banana republic to foreign investors," she said.


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