UPA government will continue to push through its economic agenda

The Union Commerce Ministry was for relaxing gold import rules and actively discussing the issue with the Finance Ministry, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said here on Monday.

“I am for a review and [the matter] is on my table,” Mr. Sharma, told a news conference after opening the CII Partnership Summit. “I am discussing this with the Finance Minister on my return to Delhi. We will see how to have a balance.”

(Earlier in the day, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, too, said in New Delhi that the restrictions on gold import would be relaxed by the end of the year.)

Mr. Sharma said the UPA government would continue to push through its economic agenda, including opening up the Railways and the construction sector to foreign direct investment.

Mr. Sharma dismissed the talk of policy paralysis in the government as a canard.

Cautioning certain States against reneging on their earlier decisions to allow FDI in multi-brand retail in their areas, the Minister said the 12 States that joined it “had exhausted the option.”

“We created a policy, not a revolving door. I would like to tell those States who are talking otherwise that India cannot be turned into a banana republic. Resolutions of both Houses of Parliament and the Supreme Court should be respected.”

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