New Delhi: Ruling out any roll-back of the policy to allow foreign investment in multi-brand retail in the country, the government on Thursday said it would issue the guidelines in due course. (Agencies)
"The rules will be framed which answer the issues raised and decisions taken in the Cabinet," Secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) P K Chaudhery told reporters here.
Asked whether the government will again invite public comments before formulating and announcing the rules governing the FDI policy, Chaudhery said there was no such move.
"If my answer to you was yes, that means I am conceding that we will revisit the policy, no," he said.
Chaudhery said his department did not write directly to the state governments while the policy was being formulated.
He said the states were consulted when the issue was debated by the Standing Committee of Parliament attached to the Commerce Ministry.
In addition, the proposal in the form of a discussion paper was on its official website and the states were free to respond, he said.
Fifty-one per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail and removal of the 51 per cent cap in single-brand retail were approved by the Cabinet on November 24.
"Guidelines on FDI in multi-brand retail are not to be put on hold... (it is) work in progress," Chaudhery said without indicating any timeline.
The government's decision to permit FDI in multi-brand retail has created political turmoil, disrupting functioning of the Parliament and leading to traders' protests.
Commerce Minister to brief Congress MPs
With voices of opposition to FDI in retail growing louder in Congress, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will brief the party MPs tomorrow on reasons behind the decision and the benefits it will accrue.
"It (the briefing) is tomorrow morning," Sharma said when asked about the briefing he was expected to give to the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP).
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee briefly spoke about the FDI decision to CPP yesterday and told the MPs that Sharma would give a detailed briefing to them.
The briefing by Sharma, whose ministry proposal was approved the Cabinet last week, was expected today, but did not take place.
The briefing by these ministers to the party MPs assumes significance as voices of opposition to the decision have grown louder. At least three Congress MPs - Ramesh Chenithala, Sanjay Singh and Praveen Aron - have spoken against it publicly, while a number of others are also believed to be unhappy.
On the Opposition stalling the Parliament on the issue, Sharma hit out at them, terming it as "obstructionist opportunist".
He asserted that the Opposition could not dictate the government on executive policy decisions as also the language of the adjournment motion, under which discussion is demanded in the Parliament.
Sharma said, "This is obstructionist opportunist opposition and what can you expect? They (Opposition) have not agreed to the language of the adjournment motion. They cannot dictate government on the executive policy decision...roll back...who are you?"
He said the government was ready to discuss the issue under the format 'situation arising out of the Cabinet decision on this (FDI in retail)' and the Opposition parties can air their apprehensions.
Apparently referring to BJP, he said the objection to the decision was because opposition parties wanted to cater to their "original constituency" of traders.
"People will remember. Every progressive reform has been opposed," Sharma added.
New Delhi: Ruling out any roll-back of the policy to allow foreign investment in multi-brand retail in the country, the government on Thursday said it would issue the guidelines in due course.