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2011-08-04

Decision on FDI on multi-brand retail soon

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma informed that decision on FDI on multi-brand retail will be taken soon

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma recently said that decision on opening multi-brand retail to FDI will be taken soon and its recommendations include making it mandatory for entities with FDI to source at least 30 percent of their requirements from the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector.

Sharma said that a group of secretaries headed by the cabinet secretary had last month made specific recommendations on the issue of opening multi-brand retail to FDI but the minutes of the meeting had not reached him. He informed further that the secretaries have recommended that at least 50 percent of the investment and jobs go to rural areas and the entities with FDI should source at least 30 percent of their requirements from the MSME sector. They have recommended that the minimum investments should be USD 100 million.

Answering queries from members in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said total retail business in the country was to the tune of Rs.16 lakh crore and it employs about 35 million people.

He said 96 percent of the people in retail trade were in the unorganised sector and India was the second largest producer of food-grains and fruits and vegetables and there was a need to significantly reduce post-harvest losses.

India allows 51 percent FDI in single brand retail and 100 percent in cash and carry format of the business. In July 2010, the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) floated a discussion paper on opening of the politically sensitive multi-brand retail.

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