Centre trying to build consensus on retail FDI: FM

Kolkata: With key UPA ally Trinamool Congress averse to FDI in retail, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said the Centre is trying to build a consensus on it and other contentious issues.

"We are working to build a policy consensus on a number of pending issues such as introduction of Goods and Services Tax, further liberalisation of FDI, including in retail, and deepening and strengthening of financial markets for long term investments," he said.

Mukherjee was addressing a programme organised by Global India Foundation here. On the current global economic crisis, he said the "shocks" the economies suffered were markers of shifting balance in the global scenario, which also presented new opportunities.

"As one of the largest and among the most dynamic emerging economies, India has demonstrated its resilience and capacity to overcome adversities in its development path," he said.

He said the country has survived the crisis without major disruptions and noted that India has recovered its growth momentum much faster than most others.

"The fact that India has not gone through any financial turbulence as a result of the earlier phase of financial deregulation is a testimony to our consistent view that reforms in global standards have to be adapted to local conditions," he said. .

Pointing out emerging economies like China and India, that led the recovery, are witnessing a combination of moderate growth and rising inflation, Mukherjee said this had impact on the financial security issues in both developed and developing economies.

He also gave credit to the economic reforms initiated in the early 1990s, saying it has borne good results for the Indian economy.

In the post-crisis period, he pointed out that financial stability had become an integral part of policy discussions and macroeconomic objectives globally.

"We have to be alert to shape real-time policy responses, reform systems, improve the regulatory framework of our institutions and make the most of the opportunities coming our way," the Congress leader said.

On building economic relation with other nations, he said the vibrancy of India`s economic and trade relations with BRIC countries further supports the government`s vision of engaging beyond the established G-7 nations.

Highlighting the government`s priority of making growth inclusive and sustainable, Mukherjee said they were focusing on a broad-based strategy that encompassed all three sectors agriculture, manufacturing and services.