No call yet on multibrand retail FDI: Centre

“It (allowing FDI in multi-brand retail) is a complex issue. States will have to be involved in the consultation process to arrive at a larger consensus before taking a decision,” he said while replying to a calling attention motion on the subject of FDI in retail sector.

Mukherjee pointed out that several respondents representing various interests had expressed their opposition before an official committee to the entry of FDI in multi-brand retail.

Those who opposed the allowing of FDI in multi-brand retail included farmers and small traders, he said.

Quoting a report prepared by the Unctad Mukherjee said the report had apprehended that job losses in the informal sector far outweighed the benefits of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.

“The issue (of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail) is being studied. The government has not taken any decision in this regard,” he said.

Considering the political sensitivity over the issue of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail the government is adopting a cautious approach on going ahead with the idea of opening up the retail sector. Currently the government has allowed FDI up to 51 per cent in only single brand retail trade.With the government receiving representations and suggestions from trade bodies and investors for allowing FDI in multi-brand retail the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion last year released a discussion paper.

An Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) was constituted to examine the comments received on the discussion paper. The IMC has already submitted its report to the government.  

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