Reaffirming BJP's stand on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, new Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today indicated that foreign players will not be allowed to open mega stores in the country as it may adversely impact the small traders and farmers.
"At this stage the party position is very very clear. We have explained about FDI in multi-brand retail that it probably is not best opened up now because medium and small sized traders or small farmers have not been adequately empowered... if you open up the flood gates of FDI, it may affect them," she said.
Sitharaman, who took charge of the ministry, was replying to a question whether the government would rescind the current FDI policy of allowing foreign investment in multi-brand retail.
The minister further said that she would "sit with the officials as to what has happened all the while (to) further the manifesto-based agenda of BJP we shall work."
Although the previous government had allowed foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, only one investment proposal of UK-based Tesco was cleared by the earlier government.
She said the ministry would look at the current FDI policy in calibrated way. Further, the new minister said that boosting exports will be the one of the top priority. The ministry would play an important role in enhancing economic and trade ties with all the countries, she added.