The FIPB in its meeting chaired by economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram on Wednesday cleared four foreign direct investment proposals by single brand retailers including those by US-based watch and jewellery maker Fossil Inc, sportswear giant Decathlon, French fashion house Promod and crockery maker Le Creuset. The proposals are estimated to involve investments to the tune of Rs 750 crore.
A slew of companies are making a beeline for the Indian markets since the government relaxed sourcing norms for overseas single brand retailers in September last year even though 100 per cent FDI in the sector is allowed since January, 2012.
While Le Creuset, Fossil Inc and Decathlon had sought approval for 100 per cent FDI, Promod plans to enter the markets through a joint venture.
Of the four, France-based Decathlon, which is the worlds biggest sportswear retailer, is the largest proposal and is expected to bring in foreign equity worth Rs 700 crore. Meanwhile, Promod is likely to invest Rs 30 crore while Fossil plans to bring in over Rs 22 crore as foreign equity.
Crockery maker Le Creuset, which already operates a cash-and-carry business in India, may not bring in fresh investment but rather get funding from its existing wholesale operations.
Apart from Ikea, the FIPB has in the recent past cleared several major single brand retail proposals including those from British footwear retailer Pavers England, American luxury clothing retailer Brooks Brothers and Italian jewellery maker Damiani.
Other retailers too have evinced interest. Applications from global apparel maker Tommy Hilfiger, European brand Na Pali, American shoe-maker Skechers and Thailand-based Lotus Arts are also pending with the Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy for opening single brand retail outlets in the country.
* Decathlon is the largest proposal and is expected to bring in foreign equity worth Rs 700 crore
* Promod is likely to invest Rs 30 crore while Fossil plans to bring in over Rs 22 crore as foreign equity
* Crockery maker Le Creuset, which already operates a cash-and-carry business in India, may get funding from its existing wholesale operations
Doing away with PDCs
The RBI wants to do away with post-dated cheques in all fresh loans and is also debating putting a charge on cash deposits and withdrawals in current accounts above certain limit.
the RBI has already mandated since August 2008 that all payments above Rs 10 lakh between RBI regulated entities and in RBI regulated markets are to be mandatorily made through electronic payments.
However, prescription of any cut-off amount limit on cheques would have a positive impact depending upon the amount. For instance, an analysis of the volume of cheques cleared through the MICR Cheque Processing Centres during the first half year of 2012-2013 reveals that around 89% of the cheques cleared in these centres were below Rs 1 lakh.