Microsoft ‘disappointed’ with hold back on retail FDI

Kolkata, Dec 8: Microsoft Thursday said it is ‘very disappointed’ with the central government’s decision to hold back Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail trade, stressing ‘FDI in all forms is good’ for India.

‘Yes, I am very disappointed with the government’s decision to put FDI on hold. FDI in all form is good, be it in retail or aviation. What this country needs is a lot more investments, whether this investment is coming locally or from outside that doesn’t really matter,’ Microsoft Corporation India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik told reporters on the sidelines of ‘INFOCOM 2011′ here.

The central government Wednesday said it would suspend the implementation of 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail trade until it could muster a consensus among various stakeholders followed by strong protest from the opposition and its alliance partners like Mamata Benerjee’s Trinamool Congress and the DMK.

‘This (FDI in multi-brand retail) would have been a net gain for the country in terms of both employment and revenues. I am extremely disappointed with regard to both, whether it is FDI in aviation or retail,’ Pramanik said.

He said India was no longer the preferred destination for multinationals due to a host of problems.

‘The issues are numerous (on India not being the preferred IT destination). The government has to address these,’ he said.

Microsoft is willing to hold dialogues with the West Bengal government to increase digital literacy in the state.

‘We are looking at extending our programmes in the e-learning, small and medium (SME) verticals to aid entrepreneurship in Bengal along with three other states in India,’ Pramanik added.

IANS