Walmart sees Bud driving domestic consumption, retail growth

Walmart sees Bud driving domestic consumption, retail growth

Retail giant Walmart sees an increase in India's domestic consumption and retail growth over a period of time on the back of social security measures proposed in the Budget.

The company, which has decided to focus only on wholesale business in India owing to several restrictions in the multi-brand retail segment, also feels that the Modi government's continued focus on 'Ease of Doing Business' will help the overall industry.

"Provision to provide social security measures for the middle-class and the bottom of the pyramid will help improve consumer confidence and sentiment.

"Over a period of time, the middle class will be able to live in the present without the worry of the future and this should drive domestic consumption and retail growth," Walmart India President and CEO  Krish Iyer said in a statement.

In the Budget 2015-16, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed to work towards creating universal social security system for all Indians, especially the poor.

Measures proposed by the FM includes creation of senior citizen welfare fund, increase in limit in deduction of health insurance premium and an additional Rs 50,000 contribution to pension under 80CCD to be allowed.

Commenting on doing business in India, Iyer said: "The government's continued focus on 'Ease of Doing Business' will help the industry tremendously. I am sure this move will also encourage State Governments to bring in similar provisions and help in driving investment-led growth."

Earlier this year, Iyer had said that the government needs to work more on improving ease of doing business in the country as "the current perception is that it's not easy to do business here".

Walmart had decided focus on cash and carry business and said it will open 50 wholesale stores in the next four to five years to expand its footprint in the country.

Iyer also said that deferment of GAAR by two years, focus on ease of doing business and general long-term focus and expectations of double digit growth "will further renew the confidence of global investors in the country."

He also termed Budget 2015-16 as 'reformist and growth oriented" and welcomed the proposed roadmap to reduction in corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent over four years as well as removal of plethora of exemptions related to taxes which was causing complexity and litigation.

"Looking holistically, the Budget presented by the Finance Minister is reformist and growth oriented. The measures outlined in the budget for giving boost to the investment in infrastructure will surely benefit the economy and the retail sector in the medium to long term," he added. 

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