Modi Govt allows 100% in single-brand retail, Congress says BJP exposed

Agencies: The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP of adopting “double-speak” on allowing 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail and criticised it for relaxing the 30 per cent outsourcing clause. Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said that 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail was notified during the previous UPA government and the only change made is to allow it through the automatic route.

“The Prime Minister talks of ‘Make in India’, but now says local sourcing is not required,” he said and asked the government to clarify its policy on multi-brand retail. Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala alleged that by doing away with the requirement of 30 per cent sourcing through ‘Make in India’, the Prime Minister has exposed his duplicity and doublespeak on the issue.

Sharma said the policy on multi-brand retail enumerated by the previous UPA government stands and has not been reversed. He asked the government to clarify on its policy to assure investors as they had earlier threatened to reverse that policy.

“As the BJP government allows 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail by doing away the requirement of 30 per cent sourcing through ‘Make in India’, the PM and FM’s duplicity and doublespeak stand exposed,” he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has harmed the manufacturing sector and traders, Surjewala alleged.

At the party briefing, Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said when the BJP was in the opposition, they opposed the UPA government’s decision. Now when they are in power, they have even dispensed with the 30 per cent sourcing clause while allowing FDI in the retail sector.

“During the UPA, we had kept safeguards and made provisions for sourcing within India. Today the Prime Minister has done away with 30 per cent clause we had kept. Is this ‘Make in India’?” he asked. Foreign players in single-brand retail trade will now be able to set up own shops in India without government approval. This follows a cabinet decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail under automatic route, while also easing local sourcing norms.

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