In fallout of the severing of relations between the Manmohan Singh government and Trinamool Congress, the Centre on Wednesday announced the shifting of the Global Partnership Summit 2013 — in which corporate leaders and foreign investors from around the world take part — from Kolkata to Agra in Uttar Pradesh.
“It would not be appropriate to invite corporate leaders of the world and the global investors to Kolkata when the State government is totally opposed to foreign direct investment (FDI). We have been compelled to shift because I cannot take the corporate leaders of the world to a place where they will face opposition and demonstrations,” Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told reporters here.
The summit was scheduled to be held in Kolkata in January next. It is being organised by the Commerce and Industry Ministry in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry.
The Mamata-Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has withdrawn its support to the UPA government over the decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and put a cap on subsidised domestic LPG cylinders.
“When the West Bengal Chief Minister leads a demonstration against FDI, how can global investors and corporate leaders be present there? One could have a situation where the TMC government demonstrates against the foreign investors. We cannot afford to have such a situation on hands. We cannot take the risk,” Mr. Sharma said.
When it was pointed out that the Samajwadi Party, the party ruling in Uttar Pradesh, was also opposed to FDI in retail, Mr. Sharma said he did not think it was opposed to FDI investments as such.
“There is a difference. Ms. Banerjee is opposed to all FDI. I have spoken today to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who has welcomed the initiative and thanked the Central government for hosting it,” he said.