FDI to create more jobs, ease prices, says CM

FDI to create more jobs, ease prices, says CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday strongly defended his decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, saying it would not only create more employment opportunities, but also help regulate prices of essential commodities.

“In my view, it (FDI in retail) will not have any bearing on local retail shops. There is no need to worry about it. Metro (German retail company) entered Bangalore about a decade ago. Has it affected small traders in Bangalore?

It is the UPA government’s decision to allow FDI,” he said, participating in the meet-the-press programme.

It has been made mandatory for foreign companies investing in retail to buy at least 30 per cent of local goods. “The BJP has been opposing the FDI in retail for the sake of opposing it. The party would have welcomed the FDI if it were the ruling party at the Centre,” he added.

Siddaramaiah said he wrote to Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma that the State government had no objection to implement FDI in retail.

He said the Planning Commission of India had hailed popular schemes and programmes announced by him, including the rice for Re 1 per kg, increase of incentive for milk producers by Rs two a litre and waiver of loans taken by backward classes, SC/STs and minorities.

The Commission suggested the State to give priority to social sector in the coming budget, likely to be presented in the second week of July.

Siddaramaiah defended his decision to present another budget for 2013-14 fiscal year, saying that the one presented by the then chief minister Jagadish Shettar in February was meant for polls and comprised programmes of the BJP.

“Now that the people have elected the Congress, we have to tell our priorities. So, I am presenting a new budget,” he said.

The Planning Commission has pegged the State's plan size at Rs 47,000 crore for 2013-14 fiscal year - Rs 550 crore more than what the Commission had fixed in February, before Shettar presented the budget.

The Siddaramaiah government has informed the Planning Commission that it will mobilise tax revenue of Rs 62,780 crore in the current fiscal – Rs 1,768 crore more that what the previous government had estimated.

Asked about the government's stand on allowing iron ore mining in the State, he said the government would take action within the legal framework and directions issued by the Supreme Court.

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