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India still open for FDI in multi-brand retail: Minister
Apr '12
In spite of several reservations on the issue, the Congress-led UPA Government has rejuvenated its efforts to create a consensus on allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in about US$ 550 billion multi-brand retail market in India.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is again holding consultations with all stakeholders, including consumer associations and farmers, to arrive at a strong consensus on the matter, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said.

The Minister said though some states have reservations for FDI in retail, there are some others that actually want it.

He hoped that soon a consensus would be reached on allowing entry of foreign investors in India's multi-brand retail, so that states eager to allow the same may opt for it.

While expressing optimism that a consensus could soon be reached over the issue, he said it would be wrong to equate consensus with unanimity.

On November 24, 2011, the Central Government was forced to take back its decision of allowing 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail, following opposition from several state governments and its own allies. The Minister said the suspension was just a pause in the decision-making process.

The opening of FDI in India's multi-brand retail would enable several global giants like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco, to open their supermarket chains in India. These firms are currently only allowed to own 100 percent of back-end cash-and-carry operations for supplying to wholesalers.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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