The BJP on Monday reaffirmed that it would shut the doors for global investors who have evinced interest in India’s $500-billion retail sector, if elected.
India had declared open its retail sector to foreign players barely 19 months ago. The announcement was made in the party’s election manifesto, which said the BJP would welcome foreign direct investment (FDI) in all sectors that create local jobs, except for supermarkets. India had opened the door to overseas investors in the multi-brand retail sector in September 2012, but had left if up to individual states to enact legislation.
So far, only Britain's Tesco has made an investment in India. Last month, it sealed a $140-million joint venture with the Tata Group's Trent Ltd to operate 12 stores in southern and western India, but many more that are in the queue, such as France’s Carrefour, may have their dreams shattered if the BJP comes to power. The manifesto listed price rise, unemployment, policy paralysis in the government, corruption, black money and poor delivery mechanisms as “imminent” issues to be attended to on an urgent basis.
Through the manifesto, the BJP vowed to fight the UPA's “tax terrorism”, and promised a “non-adversarial and conducive tax environment” by rationalising and simplifying the tax structure.