The government has finally agreed to put foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail on the back-burner amidst demands from both the opposition and ruling alliance members to roll back its decision.
After days of protests that disrupted all work at both Houses of Parliament, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today wrote to opposition leader Sushma Swaraj saying that the government will not now press with its decision to allow foreign investment in retail trade.
Stung by opposition from allies Trinamool Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazahagam (DMK) as well in its efforts to open up the retail sector to foreign investors, the government finally decided to shelve plans for both 51-per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail.
The government is now in looking at overhauling the policy format for retail FDI altogether. Mukherjee is expected to make an official announcement to this affect in Parliament when it meets on Wednesday.
The development comes after Pranab Mukherjee spoke to leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, senior BJP leader LK Advani and CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury.
The government had expected to get the policy approved without formally going through the voting process and had so far maintained that it was ready for a discussion on the issue in Parliament but not under adjournment motion that entails voting.