The UPA government on Thursday found support from various consumer organisations and NGOs on its decision to allow up to 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail trading. These consumer bodies have agreed to back the decision provided it is implemented with policies intended to create jobs for small retailers, and inclusion of all stakeholders, including small manufacturers, in the value chain.
This was conveyed to the government by 30-40 members of various consumer bodies including the Consumer Coordination Council, and Corporate Professionals in their meeting with the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) and ministry of consumers affairs.
These meetings are part of the consensus building process initiated by the government to fast track its decision to implement FDI in multi-brand retail.
Amrit Lal Saha, chairman , consumer coordination council Delhi said: ?We are in favour of the decision of allowing MBRT in the country but some more riders are required to protect the interests of small shopkeepers and manufacturers.? Most of the members said the government should have consulted them before announcing its decision to allow 51% FDI in MBRT.
Commenting on the meeting, the consumer affairs Secretary Rajiv Aggarwal told FE: ?We have had a discussion with the DIPP and the consumer organisations. Our view on the subject remains the same as expressed during the CoS meeting in mid-2011. The Consumer Affairs had supported the government?s decision to allow FDI in MBRT with a sectoral cap of 51%.?
Sources in DIPP said that the discussions was fruitful and suggestions from both consumer organisations and the consumer affairs ministry will be considered before forming a conclusion on the issue. DIPP has been undertaking the consultation since December and has already consulted food processing and MSME industry on