Mumbai: Commerce and
industry minister Kamal Nath has ruled out foreign direct investment in retail
business for the time being, saying the government is awaiting a report of a study
currently in progress.
study on retail in underway and report is still awaited. We have no plans for
FDI in retail,'''' Nath told reporters, adding that the local retail stores are
the country''s backbone and it is necessary to focus on them.
minister said while the centre cannot offer direct help to retailers, the state
governments should take a decision in the interest of the nation.
commerce ministry had asked the Indian Council for Research in International Economic
Relations (ICRIER) to study the problems that small retailers were facing as a
result of the entry of big corporate houses into organised retail. The report
is expected in a month, he said.
domestic retail chains have also been facing opposition from small retailers in
many states even as some multinational players like Wal-Mart have joined hands
with domestic companies as their cash-and-carry partners.
government allows 100 per cent FDI in cash-and-carry and wholesale operations
and 51 per cent in single-brand retail.
Kearney Global Retail Index, 2006 ranks India as world''s No 1 in the retail business,
and according to industry estimates, the organised and unorganised retail market
will grow to $427 billion by 2010 and $637 billion by 2015.
Left parties, a key ally of the ruling UPA at the centre is opposed to the opening
up of the country''s $330 billion retail sector.
fact, even Congress president Sonia Gandhi had expressed reservations on opening
up of the sector.