As he meets global investors across sectors here at WEF summit, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that every reform has to wait for its own time and any rethink on multi-brand retail policy would first require a larger consensus in the society.
Jaitley maintained that the BJP’s position remains the same on multi-brand retail FDI and his position was also the same.
He was replying to a query on Walmart and other retail giants wanting India to re-think on multi brand retail and whether there was a room for rethink.
“Every reform has its own time. The lesson of this story is that unless you are able to bring a larger consensus in the society, and this consensus has to involve state governments, municipalities, because they are the ones who have to grant all the permissions.
“Therefore, if in a confrontationist mode the government takes a stand then to enforce that stand on the ground becomes extremely difficult.
“This is what happened to the UPA government. They took a decision but to enforce it right down to the municipalities to grant the licenses to these stores to open, you need a consensus,” he said.
The Finance Minister said that “here is a time for every change… The society has to first mentally prepare itself for any change,” he added.
When asked if such a change could be possible, he said, “All I am saying is that my party’s position remains what it was and my position is the same.”
To another question on what would he tell Walmart executives if they meet him here at Davos, Jaitley said, “I’ll tell them exactly the same.”