New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) Commerce and Industries Minister Anand Sharma Wednesday defended the government's decision to allow foreign capital in multi-brand retail, saying this was taken after due consultations with all stakeholders and that it would save farm output and generate employment in the country.
"It is not an overnight decision. We have consulted all the states, political parties, consumer forums and farmers unions," Sharma said during the debate over the issue in the Lok Sabha.
According to Sharma, all the 17 consumer forums, 12 farmer unions and 11 state governments have welcomed the move.
"We have established an enabling policy, whereby all the states have the right to reject the foreign investment in multi-brand retail. But one state cannot take the right of other states which want FDI in retail," Sharma said.
Sharma added that nearly 55-60 percent of fruits and vegetables produced and wasted would be saved as the government has made the provision that 50 percent of the investment made in retail will go into back-end operations like cold storage.
"Every proposal will be scrutinised by the foreign investment promotion board (FIPB) under the framework, like a minimum investment of $100 million will be allowed out of which 50 percent will go in back-end and that 30 percent of all sourcing will be done from small business," he said.