Bharti, Wal-Mart JV within existing policy framework: Mittal | india | Hindustan Times
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Bharti, Wal-Mart JV within existing policy framework: Mittal

Wal-Mart would provide the back-end support in terms of setting up cold chains, while Bharti would do the retailing under the cash-and-carry format.

india Updated: Dec 02, 2006 16:19 IST

The tie-up between US retail giant Wal-Mart and Bharti Enterprises was within the existing policy framework, Bharti group chairman Sunil Mittal said on Saturday.

Responding to queries, Mittal told that as per the MoU, Wal-Mart would provide the back-end support in terms of setting up cold chains, while Bharti would do the retailing under the cash-and-carry format.

Mittal said it was a partnership of equals, adding that both the companies would make substantial investments.
"The investments are being worked out," he said.

While India has not allowed FDI in multi-brand retail format, foreign investment is permitted in wholesale trade as well as logistics and back-end support.

Policy hurdles had earlier forced Wal-Mart to put its India plans on hold, but it has now settled for a collaborative venture.

Commerce minister Kamal Nath had said that the government would examine whether the agreement was within the rules and regulations.

Mittal said the nationwide roll-out of their retail stores would begin from August 15, 2007.

The Left parties had earlier expressed reservation about Wal-Mart, saying this was a backdoor entry by the US firm.

When asked whether Bharti-Wal-Mart would be allowed to set up shop in the state, West Bengal CM Buddhadev Bhattacharjee said: "Let them firm up their plans first."

Mittal said Bharti had already acquired 5,000 acres in Punjab to carry out contract farming for exports to European markets.

He said the group was also keen to enter horticulture. West Bengal was the best possible state in this regard and it would be the new platform for the Bharti group, he said.

Referring to investments in West Bengal, he said Bharti had already invested Rs 1,200 crore in the state and was in the process of creating a huge R&D infrastructure facility.