file an application to invest R700 crore. The government cleared Ikea’s R10,500-crore investment proposal—the largest investment proposal till now—in May this year. Ikea’s chief executive officer for India, Juvencio Maeztu, has previously said the company will wait to find the right location for its stores, the first of which might not come up before 2015.
The government is also expected to take up proposals by clothing retailer Brooks Brothers, Italian jewellery retailers Damiani, apart from Pavers England. In February, the finance ministry cleared proposals from French sports goods retailer Decathlon and American fashion retailer Fossil.
The government has so far approved a total of 18 FDI proposals worth $173 million in the single-brand retail sector between April 2010 and May 2013.
Ernst & Young’s Mishra feels that although the situation in single-brand retail is better than multi-brand retail, things are still not optimum. He adds that there need to be some policy measures to ensure that large-box retailers’ interest does not wane. “We can expect some bigger companies to file their applications to enter India in single-brand retail, as there is a lot more clarity on this front,” he says.
Interestingly, total FDI inflows into India rose an annual 12.9% in July this year to $1.66 billion, the highest monthly inflow for three months. FDI inflows were $1.47 billion in July last year. For the first four months of the current fiscal year, FDI inflows were up 20% from a year earlier to $7.05 billion, the ministry of commerce and industry said in a statement. FDI inflows had declined to $22.42 billion in the fiscal year ended March 2013, from $35.12 billion in the previous year.