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Govt. approves 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail

New Delhi, Sep 14 (ANI): The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Friday approved Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail, civil aviation, broadcast and power sectors.

The government decided to notify the Cabinet decision on FDI in multi-brand retail. This would mean retail giants like Walmart could come to India with stores where they can hold up to 51 percent equity.

The CCEA, headed by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, also approved disinvestment in three public sector units (PSUs).

The government also approved 49 percent FDI in the civil aviation sector, which would provide oxygen to the ailing carrier like Kingfisher Airlines. Relaxing FDI rules will help bring a much-needed cash flow to India’s bleeding private airlines.

FDI in information and broadcasting and power sectors were also approved.

In November last year, the government had approved 51 percent FDI in multi-brand. This was, however, put on hold due to political opposition, including from UPA constituent Trinamool Congress.

The government had earlier proposed to allow the 450 billion dollars supermarket sector to foreign firms such as Wal-Mart, but had suspended the decision to allow such investment in multi-brand retailing due to opposition from several parties, including some UPA allies.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has 16 Lok Sabha MPs and is the second-largest member of the ruling UPA coalition, has so far opposed the FDI in key sectors like retail, insurance and aviation.

She had earlier claimed that FDI in these sectors would be harmful for the people of the country. (ANI)