Indian retail to touch $637 bln by 2015: Ashwani Kumar

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New Delhi, Apr 25 (UNI) The Indian retail market is expected to touch 637 billion dollars by 2015 as modern retail, which presently accounts for four per cent of the total market, increases its share to 22 per cent by 2010.

''Indian retail market is expected to grow to 637 billion dollars by 2015. Modern retail, which presently accounts for four per cent of the total market, will also increase its share to 22 per cent by 2010,'' Minister of State for Industry Ashwani Kumar said here today at the CII Retail Symposium 2008.

He noted that Delhi is the country's largest consumer market with the highest concentration of households with an annual income of 1,10,000 dollars and per capita income more than double the national average.

''Delhi is a destination for shopping across India besides its own consumption appetite. It is the principal business and commercial centre in northern India, well complemented by industrial areas in the National Capital Region,'' Dr Kumar said.

With an economy size of Rs 1,18240 crore, Delhi is the largest market in the country. Delhi is the biggest consumption centre in north India with a family spending Rs 2.1 lakh per annum on an average.

As people prosper further, the savings, which are currently to the tune of Rs 50,000 annually today, will further go up, which will result in fueling the growth of the retail industry, Dr Kumar said.

He also underlined the employment opportunities that organised retail industry can create. The Minister also highlighted the fact that India won't be hard hit by the global slowdown as 95 per cent of growth is driven by domestic consumption.

Calling on retailers and developers to collaborate to make shopping experience hassle-free, Cushman and Wakefield Executive Managing Director (South Asia) Sanjay Verma, suggested that retailers should also work closely to come up with formats suitable for customers.

''Despite slowdown, India will have big consumption opportunities. We have to think of ways to increase the size of the retail industry,'' Mr Verma said.

Apparel Group CEO Nilesh Ved said the Indian retailers and the government should learn from the experience of Dubai. ''India needs more retail space and the retailers need support from landlord and the government,'' Mr Ved said.

He added that in view of the changing economic climate, the government needs to look into archaic taxation and licensing laws and make them simpler.

UNI SR MP GC1830

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