CWC meets to discuss FDI fallout

Last Updated: Tue, Sep 25, 2012 06:44 hrs

The top decision making body of the Congress met on Tuesday to discuss the fallout of its sweeping reforms decisions that paved way for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector among others.

Congress Working Committee (CWC), the top body of the party, discussed its strategy after the FDI reforms decisions and how it will go to the people in 2014 elections.

While the party has bailed itself out with the support of Mulayam Singh´s Samajwadi Party after Mamata Banerjee´s Trinamool Congress pulled out of the government over the issues, the party led by Sonia Gandhi will brainstorm on the fallout of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh´s reforms.

The CWG met at party president Sonia Gandhi´s residence at 10 Janpath. Besides the PM and other top leaders, Congress General secretary Rahul Gandhi was also present in the meeting. Thirty Congress leaders were present.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday sought to dispel concerns about a string of economic reforms announced previous week, amid an ongoing political backlash, saying the measures were critical to reverse a slowdown and generate jobs.

In a 15-minute televised address, he urged people of India not to be misled "by those who want to confuse you by spreading fear and false information," in a reference to the widespread political opposition to his new agenda.

Drawing parallels to the 1991 crisis that also sparked the liberalisation of Indian economy, Singh said he needs the "trust, understanding and cooperation of India" to help reverse the current economic slowdown and to create employment.

"You have a right to know the truth about why we have taken these decisions," he said, making attempts to explain the economics behind the government's decisions.

India on Sept 14 threw open its doors to more foreign investment in retail, aviation and broadcast sectors, while also announcing disinvestment in four state-run industries in moves that were long seen as critical to revive flagging growth and confidence in Asia's third-biggest economy.

The reforms, the came just a day after the government also announced cut to its fuel subsidy bill by announcing hikes in diesel prices and a limit to the number of subsidised LPG cylinders sold to households, were met a huge political backlash.

While a number of opposition parties lambasted the moves and organised protests this week, the strongest blow came from the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) that withdrew its support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition government.

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