Indian Govt’s flip flop over FDI in retail: Governance involves responsibility and continuity

So said India’s Finance Minister in his latest attempt to justify why govt is continuing with the policy of 51% FDI in multibrand retail. It is highly ironic as the same govt opposed this policy tooth in nail while in opposition.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday suggested the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government would continue with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime’s policy of allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, just as it had pursued India-US nuclear cooperation when in power, despite opposing it in 2008.

In a pronounced signal from the government on FDI in multi-brand retail, Jaitley said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) opposed FDI in this sector but governance involved elements of “responsibility” and “continuity”. Therefore, the notification on the subject issued by the UPA government continued, he said at the BJP national headquarters here.

“We (the BJP) had a view on the Indo-US nuclear deal but once you are in the government and a previous government has implemented the deal, you work within the limitations of the government…therefore, governance brings a kind of responsibility where continuity has to be carried,” the finance minister said, albeit reiterating his party’s views on the subject were unchanged.

The BJP had opposed the India-US nuclear deal pushed by the Manmohan Singh-headed UPA government in 2008. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi had vigorously sought to consolidate the gains made through that agreement during his visit to the US in September 2014. This was also the case when Modi hosted US President Barack Obama in India in January. The PM has also expedited movement on similar agreements with France and Canada.

The finance minister’s comment on FDI in multi-brand retail is more nuanced than his statement on the issue on Friday. When asked whether investors should look at the BJP’s stand or that of the government, he had said: “Investors are smarter than you or me.” Last week, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion  had issued a policy document, retaining the UPA government’s decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail.

Really Mr. Jaitley? This is just policymaking  by plain convenience. You do away with some policy based on your agenda and dont care for continuity and just continue with others in name of governance..

Infact, the way govt opposed it earlier. this should have been one of the first things to have been done away with. As it is, hardly any FDI came in this form of retail given the policy uncertainty. Either go ahead with it or just bury it..

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2 Responses to “Indian Govt’s flip flop over FDI in retail: Governance involves responsibility and continuity”

  1. vijaypriya13 Says:

    True BJP should have changed the policy if they really thought that this is the best for the country. It seems they opposed the policy while in opposition only to create issues and not for any other reason. I wish that political parties in India state out the policies that they will repel so that all stake holders know what to expect.

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