Hint at nod to FDI in retail?

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Jan 14, 2011 01:54 IST

At a time when allowing foreign players into the retail sector is being hotly debated, the government on Thursday said it would encourage investment in organised retail chains in India.

This was part of steps announced to boost farm goods supply and to bring down prices. "Investment will be encouraged in supply chains, including provisions for cold storages, which will be dovetailed with organised retail chains for quicker, more efficient distribution of farm products and minimising wastage," a government statement said.

The departments of industrial policy and promotion, food and public distribution, the ministry of food processing industries and the Planning Commission will thrash out schemes for this.

At  present,  FDI  in  multi-brand retail is prohibited  in  India  but  the  govt allows 51% FDI in single brand retailing and 100% in wholesale trade.

Domestic  traders'  lobby  groups  and Left-wing political parties have for long  expressed  concern  that  transnational giants offering deep discount sales  in  mega  stores  would put the livelihoods of small shopkeepers and street vendors at risk. However, the department  of industrial policy and promotion had floated a discussion  paper  last  July, making a strong pitch for opening the retail sector to FDI.


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