Swedish furniture maker IKEA will not be permitted relaxation in rules for FDI in single-brand retail if it affects interest of the domestic small and tiny units, new Minister for MSME Vayalar Ravi, said on Tuesday.
"Any relaxation which they demand, if it affects my people and industry, I won't accept...," Ravi said after taking additional charge of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Ministry.
Ravi, who is also the minister for overseas Indian affairs, said the department of industrial plicy and promotion (DIPP) cannot allow any relaxation to IKEA, which has a bearing on the MSME sector without consulting his ministry. “They cannot do it without my consent also,” he said.
He said the foreign direct investment (FDI) is welcome but not at the cost of artisans in the small and tiny sectors.
“Honestly, the Indian people know how to make furniture. They (IKEA) will not make much of a change. They will make the same... FDI is welcome to India, but it does not mean you will eat away the ordinary who people make it — carpenters and others.”
IKEA has submitted an application with the DIPP for setting up fully-owned entity in India with investment of R10,500 crore. However, it has sought relaxation in the condition which stipulates that the foreign firm has to source 30% of the merchandise from the Indian micro and small units.