After repeated failures to convince opposition parties and the states in permitting foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, the Union government is trying a new tactic.
It has given up the pretense of formulating a countrywide policy, as any Union government should, and has left the matter to the states’ discretion. “We have taken a conscious decision of leaving the implementation decision to the states and the FDI policy cleared by the cabinet will be an overarching enabling policy framework and the state governments will be free to take appropriate decision on its implementation,” commerce minister Anand Sharma said in a letter to chief ministers.
In a rational world, this would have let enlightened chief ministers take the right step. But in a democracy driven by electoral fears, it will lead to all-round rejection. In essence, this is no policy at all.