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Prime Minister to push for FDI at CCPA meeting

Sep 13, 2012 04:44 PM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to push for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in single brand retail at a crucial meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA), slated to be held on Thursday evening.

According to sources, the Prime Minister also wants to push for FDI in insurance and pension.

The Prime Minister has to decide on diluting the 30 per cent cap in single brand retail. Many foreign firms like the IKEA are keen to open shops in the country, but they feel that the mandatory 30 per cent sourcing from local produce on an immediate basis is unrealistic.

The issues will be discussed among the UPA allies following which the CCPA will take a political call on whether these can be brought up as early as on Friday, when the Cabinet meeting is scheduled to happen.

The worry of the Prime Minister is that it should not be a repeat of last time when FDI in multi brand was given a push but was kept in abeyance because of the opposition from Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.

The CCPA is also likely to consider a hike in fuel prices. While the Congress is opposed to a hike, both Finance Minister and Oil Minister are keen on going ahead with it.

Meanwhile, the government is getting ready to push for FDI in aviation as well with sources confirming that Mamata Banerjee has agreed to the proposal.

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs is likely to discuss and clear FDI in aviation on Friday. The proposal will be sent to the Cabinet for approval some time in next week.

Sources add that Air India is likely to be excluded from the proposal.

The West Bengal Chief Minister had been opposing the proposal giving a jolt to the government's effort to revive the civil aviation sector.

With so many cash-strapped airlines struggling to survive in the market, the Indian civil aviation sector is seeing one of its worst phases.