RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch(SJM) today expressed its strong disapproval of BJP's decision to retain UPA's FDI policy in multi-brand retail and demanded that this measure be dropped, accusing it of doing a "U-turn".
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of his government's first anniversary, SJM's National co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan said the Manch was pained by the BJP dispensation's decision to retain the previous Congress-led UPA' policy of allowing foreign retailers to open multi brand stores with 51 per cent ownership.
Accusing the BJP of doing a-U turn on the FDI issue, the Manch said it was unable to understand the change of BJP'S position after it came to power since in opposition it had firmly opposed the previous dispensation's move and even organised a Bharat Bandh.
"SJM puts on record its pain and disapproval and demands that government immediately clarify its position and take corrective measures and drop FDI in multi-brand retail from the list of sectors permitted for FDI," says the letter.
"People expected that your Government will roll back the anti-people decision of the previous regime at the earliest. But it is shockingly painful to note that in an elusive chase of a mirage of satisfying foreign investors the BJP has decided to take blame of U-turn and ensure continuity of the policy of FDI in retail," he said.
"Swadeshi Jagran Manch is dismayed about the news of your government retaining previous UPA regime's decision...It is against the trust reposed by way of the people's unprecedented mandate given to BJP led NDA, " Mahajan said.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley last week said that a recent government notification only published the extant policy on FDI in multi-brand retail.
"Let's be very clear. What the DIPP (department of industrial policy and promotion) did was publish the existing policy and so far what was decided by the UPA is continuing, the fact that the BJP was never in favour of this decision is publicly known," Jaitley told PTI in an exclusive interview.
He was replying to a question on the DIPP in its FDI policy compendium stating that 51 per cent foreign direct investment was permitted in the multi-brand retail sector.