Kerala will not issue fresh licences to multinational retailers any more

Written by AM Jigeesh | New Delhi, Sep 27 | Updated: Sep 28 2007, 04:47am hrs
Following the pattern set by the Mayawati regime in Uttar Pradesh, the LDF government in Kerala has decided not to issue any fresh licences to MNCs for starting retail outlets. Local bodies in the state have been advised to reconsider the licences already issued according to the merits of the organisation.

The Kerala government has already started a slew of measures against organised retail trade, including a proposed legislation titled Kerala State Essential Commodities Act-2007 to regulate MNCs entering retail sector. Government sources told FE, the state civil supplies department will soon launch hyper-markets to compete with retail giants in the cities.

Steps are underway for starting hyper markets in city corporation areas with the intention of providing all items from salt to diamond under one roof. People's Bazars, launched by us at district centers was welcomed by Keralites in an unbelievable manner, highly placed sources in the government said.

Hinting that the southern states were initiating a joint strategy against organised retail, the state government sources said that Andhra Pradesh food and civil supplies minister has offered all help to develop a joint platform against organised retailers.

Recently a team of officials led by an Andhra Pradesh minister had visited Kerala and offered all kinds of support to face the multinationals' entry into the retail sector, a senior official said.

Officials also said the government has taken action against Big Bazaar retail chain for shortfalls in quality and quantity of products sold and adulteration.

These actions had a high impact among the public, an official claimed. Claiming that the steps were only initial, the LDF government sources said strategies will change according to the circumstances and interests of the state.