The government may allow Foreign Direct Investment for specific sectors such as electronic and sports goods in retail if an expert study going into the issue foresees no impact on the neighbourhood mom and pop stores.
"We are expecting the ICRIER report on retail by the end of February. Certainly, we can be more flexible in areas of retail like electronics and sports goods. But, I want to see the whole report and make sure what I believe is correct and is backed by a report," Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath told PTI.
Nath said he had commissioned the Indian Council of Research in International Economic Relations (ICRIER) to come out with a study on retail to understand the impact of big retail on the small shops.
"Until I have the ICRIER report, I cannot do (open) retail. I have got to ensure these basic things. The point is that the neighbourhood store should not be hit," he said, adding that the retail has to be seen in a totally India- specific context and not in a general sense.
"Retail in India is not like retail in Malaysia or Thailand," he said. However, opening sectors like electronics, sports goods, pharmacy and confectionery to FDI would not have an impact on the neighbourhood stores but would instead drive the Indian industry, Nath said.