Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Harish Rawat on Wednesday welcomed the Shiromani Akali Dal's (SAD) statement to support Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail if the concerns of traders are addressed.
Punjab's Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had earlier said he would back FDI in multi-brand retail if the Centre addresses the traders' concerns.
Speaking to mediapersons here, Rawat said that all "right-minded political parties, and politicians" would support FDI in retail because it helps farmers, consumers and the micro, small and medium enterprises.
"All right-minded people, thinking for the interest of the economy, separating politics from this issue, either they are state governments, parties, or individuals in political parties, all of them have welcomed our decision to bring in 51 percent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. This is in the interest of the farmers, this is in interest of the consumers, and it is also in the interest of local retailers. It will help in establishing infrastructure in rural areas and the products of our micro, small and medium enterprises sector will get international market," he said.
Commenting on the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's (DMK) refusal to accept Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's offer of two ministerial berths, Rawat said the DMK remains a key partner of the UPA, and the issue would be resolved soon.
"This is our internal matter. I think we will be able to resolve these issues. These are not very serious issues. They are our trusted allies," Rawat added.
Reacting to the recent crisis in Maharashtra following Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's resignation from the Congress-NCP coalition, he said the NCP was an important ally of the Congress, both at the local and national level.
"In Maharashtra, the understanding between our party and the NCP is strong. The understanding is strong at the local level and at the national level. These issues will be resolved," Rawat said.
Pawar, who was Maharashtra's Irrigation Minister in 2009, is accused of clearing over 30 projects without necessary procedural clearances without due process.
Following his resignation on Tuesday, all 20 NCP ministers in the Maharashtra Government tendered their resignations to state party chief Madhukar Pichad, plummeting the state government into a deep crisis. (ANI)