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PM firm on FDI decision, says it is pro-people

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday said the government’s decision to allow foreign equity in retail was not taken in haste but after a careful thought to how it would benefit the common man in India.

“We didn’t take the decision hastily. We have thought a lot and firmly believe that this decision will benefit us a lot,” said Manmohan Singh, addressing a rally of elected Youth Congress leaders here.

Manmohan Singh said foreign direct investment in India’s retail sector would benefit farmers as “this will bring latest technology to India” and improve its agriculture sector by saving farm produce from being destroyed.

“This will curb inflation and the common man can get daily essential commodities at lesser rates,” he said, reading from a paper in Hindi.

He asked young leaders of the ruling Congress to help the government in sending a right message to the public about its intention behind the FDI in India.

Manmohan Singh flayed the opposition for opposing the key decision on economic reforms, saying they were disrupting parliament and blocking crucial legislations needed for India’s economic prosperity.

He said the world economic situation was affected by the US and European debt crisis.
“We weathered the storm of 2008 meltdown. We need new legislations and amendments to older ones now. We need parliament to work properly, but the opposition is not allowing it to happen,” he said.

“We always believe that the differences should be debated and if we are disrupting parliament, we are doing injustice to the people who have elected us to parliament,” he said.

He said the government was trying to end the parliament logjam, triggered by various issues, including inflation, statehood for Telangana and now the FDI controversy.

He said the government has put certain conditions in the FDI decision so that small and medium enterprises were not affected by the proposed foreign equity.

“There will be no coercion. The states which think it is not fruitful can choose not to allow foreign shops in their states,” he said.

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