New Delhi: After backtracking on its decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail following intense pressure from the Opposition, the Union Government has once again started efforts to go ahead with the proposal.

Since the Election Commission has announced the poll schedule for assembly elections in the five states, the government is likely make announce its decision in the General Budget for 2012-2013.

Following the Opposition parties objection, the Centre has begun talks with retail vendors over the issue. Union Cabinet Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma held talks with farmers’ body last week.

The government wants to discuss the matter once again with all parties before taking a final call on allowing 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail.

Meanwhile, in attempt to clarify government’s stand on FDI issue, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee last week said, “The FDI policy has not been canceled by the government.”

According to sources, the government is getting positive responses from farmers and the concerned sections over this contentious decision. They also stated that the Centre’s decision on FDI will be on hold till the assembly elections in five states.

The government seems to be very cautious over its each move and it doesn’t want to give a single chance to the Opposition to create any pressure over its decision.

According to sources in the Finance Ministry, the government would include this proposal as part of the budget. However, exact date of the budget presentation is yet not confirmed due to the poll schedule clashing with it.

Meanwhile, Goa is slated for elections on March 3. The Finance Ministry is mulling to present the budget immediately after the elections.

(JPN/Bureau)