One of the most important challenges before the next government would be to revive the Indian economy but the FDI has to be carefully permitted considering the requirement of each sector, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday.

“The UPA government inherited an 8.5 per cent growth rate in the GDP. It will leave behind a 4.5 per cent + growth rate. For revival of the economy and expansion of economic activities, investment is required. Investment has to be both domestic and foreign,” Mr. Jaitley wrote in a blog post.

He said while the BJP will encourage FDI in certain sectors, it is presently opposed to opening out of multi-brand retail.

“Unorganised retail is a largest employer after agriculture. There are four crore small retail establishments in India, which support almost 1/6th of India’s population.

Multi-brand retail by major international groups will displace mass retail jobs.

“It will hurt our manufacturing establishments since organised international retail sources products internationally,” Mr. Jaitley said.

He said India can “ill-afford foreign-owned stores selling Chinese goods.”

The elimination of small retail establishments will also reduce consumer choices, he said, adding that the benefits of elimination of middlemen will go entirely to the multi-brand retailers.

“In a town like Amritsar, which is heavily dependent on trading, a few multi-brand retail establishments can cause havoc to the trading community,” he said.

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