Bhubaneswar: Defending FDI in retail and other sectors, Union Minister V Narayanasamy said the country was expecting an investment of about 700 million USD besides provision of huge employment and creation of agro- infrastructure.

"We expect investment of about 700 million USD which will help boost the country's economy," he told reporters here as part of UPA government's countrywide campaign on behalf of Group of Ministers on Media.

Although TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee withdrew support from the UPA government on the issue, the decision of allowing FDI in retail sector would provide employment to two crore people in three years, he said.

"FDI in retail will help farmers, consumers and boost country's economy," he said, adding that farmers could get agricultural loans at low interest rates while the consumers would avail quality products at cheap price.

Claiming that the interest of small traders would be protected, Narayanasamy said middlemen who benefit in between farmers and consumers would, however, suffer.

He said middlemen were taking benefit due to lack of adequate cold storages. Once FDI in retail came into force, a number of cold storages will come up thus creating infrastructure in the country.

While many Asian countries including China have already opened their market to FDI in retail sector, India should not lag behind the allow its economy to suffer. Though the country's growth rate was targeted at 9 percent it fell to 7 percent due to global recession over which the government of India had no control.

Therefore, the Union cabinet decided to allow FDI retail, pension and insurance sectors in order to boost economy, he said.

"I urge upon the political parties to support the centre's decision in FDI. The BJP which supported FDI in 2002, now plays politics over the issue just to do politics," he said.


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