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BJP hints at scrapping FDI in multi-brand retail

Surajkund(IANS): The BJP Wednesday said it was not against economic reforms but indicated that it could scrap the UPA’s decision to allow 51 percent foreign equity in multi-brand retail if it came to power.

“We are against FDI (foreign direct investment) in multi-brand retail per se as it is against India’s interests,” BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told IANS. He was briefing journalists after the party’s national executive meet here.

“FDI in multi-brand retail is not in the interest of the farmers and the 1,000-year-old retail chain in the country.” “If we come to power, the consequences (on FDI) will follow,” the BJP leader said.

Replying to a query that the party had promised 26 percent FDI in retail in its agenda for governance ahead of 2004 general elections, Prasad said: “(The year) 2004 is eight years old. Watch out for our manifesto.”

But the party also claimed it was pro-reforms and had brought in FDI in media. “We are for economic reforms and good governance. We brought FDI in media,” Prasad told IANS.

The BJP also claimed it had no differences with the Akali Dal in Punjab, which has said it would welcome FDI if the central government promised to safeguard traders. “There are no differences with Akali Dal,” Prasad said.

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