Jaitley gently reminds foreigners: BJP against multi-brand retail FDI
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that foreign investors proposing to enter the multi-brand retail business in India should know that they can face problems as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not in favour of it. “I owe it to all investors to make it absolutely clear that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion’s (DIPP) circular clearly indicates what the old policy is, but I have put a caveat to say that the present party in power has never been enthusiastic about this. Therefore, investors should know candidly what the position in India is.”
“If they want to come, they can come, but as far as the Government is concerned, the party in power has not been (in favour of the policy)...so they can have a lot of problems. Even during the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) rule, you had a lot of problem,” he told Karan Thapar on Headlines Today.
He was asked what the Government would do if foreign players apply for setting up retail stores in India. “With regard to this decision, as of today we have not decided to reverse that policy. So on paper, that policy continues but I was candid enough to say my party was not in favour of it but the old policy is continuing and that is factually the truth,” he said.
Talking about the future course of action on the economic front, the minister said that the Government would focus on structural reforms to achieve 9-10 per cent growth, which is India’s potential. Jaitley further said he was not satisfied with 7.5 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth and added, “India’s potential is far more. And I have a longer list of reforms for the second year and third year, which is certainly ready.”
The objective is clear and the decision making process is reasonably quick, he said, adding that India has the cleanest government with a “decisive leadership.” The agenda include passage of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, land acquisition bill and bankruptcy code, he added.
He further said when the whole world was going through a slowdown phase, India is considered as the “bright spot”. India is expected to clock a growth rate of 8-8.5 per cent in the current fiscal.
Jaitley will inaugurate the 31st annual conference of top Income Tax commissioners here on Monday.
The focus of the two-day annual conference would be on a non-adversarial tax regime.