The Indian retailers are still hopeful that the government will bring reforms like easing foreign investments in the sector, inspite of most of their demands being ignored in the Union Budget 2010-11.
"We are optimistic that the Indian government will move ahead with its policies of economic and social reforms, including allowing FDI investment in front-end retail," Bharti Walmart Managing Director and CEO Raj Jain said.
Retailers have been asking for easing foreign direct investments (FDI) in the sector.
At present only 51 per cent FDI is allowed in single-brand retail but nothing in multi-brand.
Mukherjee only reiterated the statement of taking a firm view on opening up the sector, made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh some weeks ago.
"We were expecting FDI rules to be relaxed in retail business. It would have benefited retailers as well as the ultimate consumers," Vishal Retail Chief Managing Director Ram Chandra Agarwal said.
Besides, the retailers were also disappointed that Finance Minister failed to meet their long pending-demand of granting industry status to the sector.
Koutons Chairman D P S Kohli said, "Industry status continues to elude the retail sector. This is a disappointment since this is the first step in truly reforming and organising this highly unorganised sector."
He, however, welcomed the government's decision to reduce surcharge on domestic companies and said it will help the sector to expand.