Arjun Munda speaks at the FJCCI meet in Ranchi on Sunday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, Sept. 30: Arjun Munda today allayed fears of the business community by spelling out that the BJP-led coalition in Jharkhand would not allow FDI in multi-brand retail.
The chief minister, who had been holding back on a formal announcement on the issue, explained the delay in coming clean on his government’s position to “compulsions of coalition politics.”
Addressing a state-level meet of the business community, organised by Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FJCCI) at Guru Nanak Higher Secondary School auditorium this evening, Munda said he was personally not interested in allowing FDI in the state. Nor was his party.
“But we took time to announce it openly due to certain compulsions of coalition politics. I have spoken to our coalition partners and we are all of the opinion that FDI will not be implemented in the state,” he said.
However, the chief minister chose to stay silent on FJCCI’s demand for increasing the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders to 12. Instead, he took up some of its other demands, promising to speed up clearances once regulatory authorities started functioning online bringing in greater transparency in the process.
“Various state-level regulatory authorities would soon start functioning on-line,” he said, assuring the business community that henceforth they would not need to visit these offices frequently.
He also promised to involve the business community while taking key policy decisions.
“The economy of the country has taken a different path following the shift in the economic policy in 1991 and this state is still in a transitory phase. As such, our government would like to involve the business community in the process of policy making wherever possible,” Munda said.
On power, the chief minister said he had completed final rounds of talks with Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd and eventually, work on three major functions of the state electricity board — generation, distribution and transmission — would be split by setting up three separate companies.
On FJCCI president Ranjit Tibriwal ’s demand of dissolving Ranchi’s Krishi Bazar Samiti as it was not functioning properly, Munda said he would form a committee to look into the matter.
On infrastructure, Munda revealed that projects like widening Bokaro-Ranchi Expressway, Ranchi-Kandra rail-link, Deoghar airport and a flyover connecting Tatanagar station to the highway was on the verge of finalisation.
Later, FJCCI joint secretary Binay Agarwal welcomed the chief minister’s decision on FDI and hoped that there would be more “fruitful” announcements from him in the future.