India's finance minister calls on nation's political parties to drop objections to allowing major foreign retailers into the country, says move would benefit farmers, consumers

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

Dec 2, 2011 – Associated Press

NEW DELHI , December 2, 2011 () – India's finance minister is calling on the nation's political parties to drop their objections and allow the government to implement its new plan to bring major foreign retailers into the country.

Pranab Mukherjee said Friday the investments that big box retailers would make in India's infrastructure would be a benefit to farmers by cutting down on waste and to consumers by giving better prices.

The Cabinet decision last week has sparked strong opposition. Small shopkeepers across India went on strike Thursday and shouting opposition lawmakers shut down Parliament every day this week with protests.

The Cabinet decision would allow foreign retailers such as Wal-Mart and Tesco to own up to 51 percent of supermarkets in major cities.

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