No FDI in retail: Kamal Nath

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New Delhi, Oct 7: Ruling out Foreign Direct Investment in Retail, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said there is no plans for FDI in this sector as of now.

''A study on retail in underway and report is still awaited. We have no plans for FDI in retail,'' Mr Nath told reporters, adding that mom and pop stores is the country's backbone and it is necessary to focus on them.

Yesterday, the Minsiter has said it cannot help retailers and had asked state governments to take a decision in the interest of the nation.

Separately, the Ministry has asked ICRIER to study the problems that small retailers were facing as a result of the entry of big corporate houses into organised retail. The report is expected in a month.

Off date large domestic retail chains have been facing opposition from mom-and-pop stores in some states.

Opposition to the opening up of 330 billion dollars retail sector has come from various political quarters, and more vehemently from the key UPA ally, the Left parties. In fact, even Congress president Sonia Gandhi had expressed reservations against opening up of the sector.

The government allows 100 per cent FDI in cash-and-carry and wholesale operations and 51 per cent in single-brand retail. Some multinational players like Wal-Mart, who had for long waited for the sector to be opened up, have since joined hands with domestic companies as their cash-and-carry partners.

India has been ranked World No 1 in the AT Kearney Global Retail Index, 2006, and according to industry estimates, the organized and unorganized retail market will grow to 427 billion dollar by 2010 and 637 billion dollar by 2015.


UNI

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