India to take decision on multi-brand retail soon: Sharma

"Very few sectors are left, where sectoral caps are there and we are very actively engaged in talking to the stakeholders, what more we can do. There will be more policy pronouncements soon," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told PTI here.

Asked about the much-awaited decision on opening the multi-brand retail to foreign investment, Sharma said, "...the Committee of Secretaries has made the final recommendations. We will take an early, appropriate and committed decision."

The Committee of Secretaries (CoS) headed by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth has recommended that 51 per cent FDI could be allowed in the sector, which is dominated by neighbourhood kirana stores.

The CoS has also suggested that at least 50 per cent of the investment and jobs should go to rural areas. Global players will also have to commit at least USD 100 million investment, both in the front-end and the back-end infrastructure. Sharma said that India's post harvest losses are huge and the steps "we are taking in the policies will address that challenge".

India is one of the largest producers of fruits and vegetables in the world and second largest producer of food grains. At present, India allows 51 per cent FDI in single-brand retail and 100 per cent in cash and carry format of the business. Several global chains like Wal-Mart, Metro and Carrefour have opened their cash and carry stores and are waiting in the wings for opening of the policy for front-end retail.

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