Retailers regret missed opportunity over FDI in multi-brand

Retailers regret missed opportunity over FDI in multi-brand

With Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announcing that a decision to allow FDI in multi- brand has been kept in "abeyance" till a consensus is reached, retailers today expressed disappointment over a "lost opportunity".

Presenting the Budget for 2012-13, Mukherjee said: "The decision in respect of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail trade up to 51 per cent, subject to compliance with
specified conditions, has been held in abeyance."

He further said: "Efforts are on to arrive at a broad based consensus in consultation with the state governments."

Reacting to the announcement, Dabur Ltd CEO Sunil Duggal said: "There is no consensus or move forward in permitting FDI in multi-brand Retail and Aviation. This is surely a missed opportunity."

Expressing similar sentiments, Marico Group Chief Finance Officer and Chief Human Resource Officer Milind Sarwate said: "FDI in multi product retail would have helped streamline the value chain of distribution of goods from the farm to the consumer."

Bharti Enterprises Vice Chairman and Managing Director Rakesh Mittal said: "Under the given circumstances..we hope that the government will move it."

Analysts feared that the proposal to allow 51 per cent FDI in retail may take long before it sees the light of the day due to political differences.

"With the way it has been done, the feeling is that the decision may have been put on the back burner," PWC Associate Director Goldie Dhama told PTI.

The minister has only re-iterated what has already been said, he said.
At present, Indian allows 100 per cent FDI in single brand and in cash and carry wholesale trade.

Retailers Association of India CEO Kumar Rajgopalan said Mukherjee's speech was more or less on the expected lines.

"It is obvious that the government wants to take forward FDI in multi-brand, but it is an issue of a political push and pull," he said.

With the hike in excise duty to 12 per cent from 10 per cent, retail and consumer goods sector overall will see a price hike.

"Retail and consumer goods will become more expensive for consumers," Bird Group Executive Director Ankur Bhatia said.

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