House panel wants 'blanket ban' on corporate entry in retail trade

The  parliamentary standing committee on commerce has recommended a "blanket ban" on entry of corporates – both domestic and foreign - into the thriving retail trade.

"A blanket ban should be imposed on domestic corporate heavyweights and foreign retailers from entering into retail trade in grocery, fruits and vegetables," the committee headed by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said.

The panel also said the government "should stop issuing further licences for cash and carry either to the transnational retailers or to a combination of transnational retailers and the Indian partners, as it is mere a camouflage for doing retail trade through backdoor."

The panel said "the traditional system of small retailer should be protected."

The recommendations of the parliament panel are not binding on the government but the report may be used by opposition to fight government's efforts to open up retail trade.

The panel's views are also contrary to the wishes of several big businesses, including both domestic and foreign.