THE PRIME Minister's Office (PMO) on Wednesday asked the Commerce and Industry Ministry for its views on the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector.
The move follows a recent letter from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in which she sought safeguards for small retailers in the backdrop of US retailer giant Wal-Mart's proposed entry into the Indian market.
"The PMO sought details of the FDI policy in retail…We have sent our comments," Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said. He declined to give the details, but said the existing policy does not allow FDI in multi-brand retail.
The PMO refused to comment on the ministry's response.
Elaborating on Sonia's concerns, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said his party is not opposed to FDI in the retail sector. "We want a review in safeguards," he said.
He added Sonia's letter does not restrict itself to FDI or multinationals but covered big private domestic players.
Inputs from Gaurav Choudhury