The Assam chief minister said that FDI in multi-brand retail will will cater to only 10-20 per cent of the demands, while 80 per cent of the business will remain with the local retailers in interior placesGUWAHATI, INDIA: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday called for foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector and said the states willing to implement it should be allowed to do so.
The Congress-led central government last year put on hold the decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail following strong opposition from some quarters, including allies like the Trinamool Congress.
Talking to media persons here, Gogoi cited the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) to which the BJP-ruled states were initially opposed but later allowed it.
"Even the entry of Pepsico and Kellogg's was opposed in India at one point of time. Mainly the Left parties opposed the entry of those companies to India, but now everything is settled," he said.
He said FDI in multi-brand retail would not affect local traders but help them.
This will cater to only 10-20 per cent of the demands, that too in the cities, while 80 per cent of the business will remain with the local retailers in interior places, he said.
Gogoi said the fear that small shops will cease to exist is unfounded. "See, coming of eateries brand like McDonald's has not hampered the sale of local eateries or delicacies."
Earlier, he on Wednesday urged prime minister Manmohan Singh to implement the decision to allow the FDI in multi-brand retail.
Naming Trinamool chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Gogoi had said crucial policy decisions should not be held hostage to opposition by some state governments.
"Some states are opposing this, let them oppose. But those states who want, should not be deprived of this decision as it will help in improving agri-economy," he said.
Meanwhile, the chief minister has also said that the government is looking forward to offer incentives to small, medium and cottage industries in the state and has already taken up the matter with the Planning Commission.
"Earlier, our thrust was big industries. However, we have failed to bring in much big industries to set up their units in Assam. Now we have changed our thrust to small medium and cottage industries."