Tuesday, 29 November 2011

FDI row: Desperate finance minister, helpless party - Rediff.com News

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee may be right in pushing for FDI in retail because reports have been pouring in, indicating that the economic downturn in India and abroad will worsen in coming weeks.

Sheela Bhatt examines the politics behind the government's decision.

'I want money,' an agitated Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee reportedly told the Cabinet on Thursday, November 24, when coerced by colleagues from his Congress party for pushing 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment in retail.

The FDI issue is so sensitive that Defence Minister A K Antony, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Virbhadra Singh tried to argue with the finance minister against the decision.

The interaction amongst the ministers suggested that Mukherjee was pushing a sensitive economic reform to stop the outflow of FDI and to create positive market sentiment to arrest the fall of the Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex to below 10,000 points.

The finance minister is also worried about the decline in the value of the rupee

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