India assures full support to Walmart, Tesco

Written by PTI | Davos | Updated: Jan 25 2013, 07:56am hrs
India today assured global retail giants Walmart and Tesco that it will hand hold them for their entry into the just opened multi-brand retailing in the country.

The assurance was given by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma to the heads of the two retail giants in separate meetings on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum conference here.

While CEO Walmart International Doug McMillon said the company is studying the conditions before making the final announcement, Tesco Chairman Richard Braodbent sought clarifications on some of the conditions that India has imposed while allowing foreign players to open stores in the multi-brand retail sector during their meeting.

McMillon "conveyed that Walmart is excited about India and they are studying the conditions before making the final announcement," said a statement issued by the Commerce and Industry Ministry.

Sharma has asked both the officials to send written request for clarification to the ministry, and assured them of providing all necessary clarity on the policy.

"India's policy on FDI in multi-brand retail has finality and they need not be unduly concerned about any policy reversal," the statement said, quoting Sharma.

Walmart is already present in India in cash and carry, or wholesale, segment through a 50:50 joint venture with Bharti Enterprises.

"Sharma assured that all the foreign investors will be provided hand holding," it added.

India has imposed certain conditions like foreign retailers planning to enter the multi-brand segment would have to invest a minimum of USD 100 million with 50 per cent of it in the back-end infrastructure.

The firms will also have to source 30 per cent of their products from MSMEs.