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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 20, 2012
The government is planning to announce a raft of reform measures in the next few weeks, including possible easing of norms for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the multi-brand retail and civil aviation sectors to revive the sagging economy and soothe anxious investors.

"There are some states who will have some reservations (on FDI in multi-brand retail). Some states may not opt for it. I see a strong consensus in favour (of the decision). Consensus must never be confused with unanimity," commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said Thursday.

Last year, political compulsions compelled the government to quickly roll back a proposal to allow foreign supermarkets to set up large stores in India.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the setting up of a high-powered project clearance board to ensure speedy "one-time" clearances to projects in the energy and infrastructure sectors and to address problems in getting regulatory permissions.

The decision came on a day when Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata asked Singh to implement pending reforms and hit out at the Opposition, media and some ruling alliance members for blaming the PM for India's economic woes.