Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has written to chief ministers of Odisha, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh seeking their support for early implementation of the government's decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail sector.
"FDI in multi-brand retail will bring in investments, technologies and efficiencies to unlock the true potential of the agricultural value chain," he said in his letter.
The government is trying to build consensus on the politically-sensitive issue after putting on hold the decision to open up the multi-brand sector due to opposition from several state governments and UPA ally TMC.
In the letter, Sharma asked the three non-UPA chief ministers - Naveen Patnaik of Odisha, Prakash Singh Badal of Punjab and Akhilesh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh - to recognise the intrinsic merit of this policy and support FDI in retail.
The government has renewed its efforts to forge a consensus on opening the doors to global retailers in the sector, estimated to be a about USD 550 billion market.
It will also unfold immense employment opportunities for rural youth and make them stakeholders in the entire agri business chain from farm to fork, he said.
On concerns about the impact of big shops on livelihood concerns of millions of small retailers, Sharma said that several studies have revealed that local retailers have found innovative ways to co-exist along with organised retail.
Meanwhile, in an official statement he said exuded confidence that a "political consensus" will be arrived on the issue in the next few weeks.