The government is expected to take a decision in the next three months on allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, a long pending issue.
A new National Manufacturing Policy creating an investor friendly environment is also likely, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia said today.
"We are committed to the issue on FDI in retail...I think over the next quarter you will see a decision and an announcement on both the issues," Scindia said at Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs award function here.
A cabinet note on FDI in multi-brand retail has already been circulated by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which had earlier come out with a discussion paper on the politically sensitive issue.
According to sources, the government would allow the foreign retail giants with riders which include a minimum investment of USD 100 million, half of which must go to the back-end infrastructure like cold storage, soil testing labs and seed farming.
At present, India allows FDI only in single brand retail chains like Nike, Louis Vuitton with a cap of 51%. It also permits 100% overseas investment in wholesale cash-and-carry format.
Several of the big chains like Wal-Mart and Carrefour have set up their joint ventures in India, waiting for their full-scale entry into the multi-brand retailing.
The proposed manufacturing policy aims to help attract overseas investments besides increasing the share of manufacturing in the economy.
India aims at increasing the share of manufacturing sector, which contributes over 80 per cent in the country''s overall industrial production, from 16-17% to 25-26% of the gross domestic product by 2020.
On concerns over imposition of minimum alternative tax on special economic zones, Scindia said: "We are in discussion with the finance ministry. We hope to have a sympathetic hearing, so that we can ensure that there is a stable policy regime going forward".
On the exporters demand for the continuation of tax benefit scheme -DEPB, he said "we will ensure that...exporters are incentivised to be able to reach our target of USD 500 billion by 2013-14".
The Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) scheme for exporters would end on June 30.