Sharma: Multi-brand retail to see another European player

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SummaryEnthused by Tesco's plan to enter the Indian supermarket segment, the government expects another "European major" to apply for the multi-brand retail sector.

Enthused by Tesco's plan to enter the Indian supermarket segment, the government expects another "European major" to apply for the multi-brand retail sector.

"In multi-brand retail trading, the first (application) has come. There will be more and I think another European major will come," commerce minister Anand Sharma said.

He, however, did not share the details of the possible applicant. Last week, UK-based Tesco became the first global retailer to seek government's approval to set up multi-brand outlets in India with a plan to invest $110 million in partnership with Tata's Trent.

It has sought permission to acquire 50% in Trent's wholly-owned subsidiary Trent Hypermarket, that runs Star Bazaar stores.

Sharma said his ministry would fast-track the process of clearance for Tesco.

"It (Tesco's application in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board) will be an expeditious approval," he said.

Allaying concerns of global investors, Sharma said that India's foreign direct investment (FDI) policy is attractive and investments are secure and protected.

"Investments are protected and fully secured under the law and FDI policy both," the minister added.

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