GUWAHATI, Dec 1 � Endorsing the Centre�s decision to open foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail as a step in right direction, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said that it would help promote industries, generate employment and boost the rural economy.
�The move will boost small retailers as well and they will grow and flourish,� Gogoi said at a press conference.
Gogoi said that the decision should have been taken �much earlier�, and accused the BJP and its allies of making a �complete U-turn� on the issue.
�It is really surprising that the BJP-led NDA is now making a complete U-turn as they themselves had pitched for 100 per cent retailing when they were in power. This exposes their double standards, and the fact that national interest is not in their agenda,� Gogoi said.
Moreover, Gogoi added, the Centre was not imposing the decision on the States and rather had left the States with the choice to decide on the matter of opening the retail sector to FDI.
Asserting that facilitating FDI in multi-brand retail would boost agriculture and allied sectors, manufacturing, logistics, integrated cold chains, refrigerated transportation and processing facilities in a big way, Gogoi said that of the total investments, 50 per cent had been made mandatory in rural infrastructure alone.
�Moreover, 30 per cent of the produce will be sourced from small and micro industries, and this will give a big fillip to domestic manufacturing and value addition,� he said.
Pointing out that when he was Union Food Processing Minister, the BJP had vehemently opposed the decision to open up the Indian market for Coca Cola, Pepsi, McDonald, Kellogg, etc., the Chief Minister said that the BJP-ruled States today had a fair presence of the foreign brands.
�Their presence in fact has not affected the food sector in any way, as it has brought out healthy competitiveness, ensuring quality food products,� he added.