The government is reviewing its decision to put in abeyance the policy allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, with most BJP-ruled states supporting the opening up of the sector, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi.
The government is reviewing its decision to put in abeyance the policy allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, with most BJP-ruled states supporting the opening up of the sector, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Senior government functionaries said that in keeping with the policy of liberalising FDI, multi-brand retailing could also see more FDI flows soon.
The Modi government had retained the previous UPA regime’s decision allowing foreign retailers to open
multi-brand stores with 51% in its consolidated FDI policy document released in May last year but has barely encouraged such investments, citing the BJP’s poll manifesto.
It had, however, said that “state governments will be free to take their own decisions in regard to implementation of the policy”.
The sources said the government may look at opening the sector to foreign investment with greater conviction now with many state governments on board.
Also, food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal recently requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider 100% FDI in multi-brand retail of food products, arguing that such a move would help both farmers as well as the common man.
Apart from Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Assam, three BJP-ruled ones — Rajasthan, Haryana and Maharashtra — and two headed by its allies — Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir — are understood to be backing the idea of FDI in multi-brand retail.
On the charges that e-tailers like Flipkart and Amazon were flouting the bar on FDI in multi-brand retailing in B2C e-commerce, the government has recently said that marketplace model allegedly used by such firms is “not recognised” in the FDI policy. This was seen by analysts as reiteration of the policy not to allow FDI in multi-brand retailing of any sort.
It may be noted that when the government decided to ease FDI rules in as many as 15 sectors ranging from banking to defence to retail and broadcasting in November last year, it also relaxed the rules for single-brand retailing, but was, again, mum on the multi-brand segment.