Nationwide opposition to FDI in retail trade

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New Delhi, Apr 30: Admitting of nationwide opposition to opening of retail trade to foreign direct investment, the government today informed the Lok Sabha it has received 48 representations against the move from various industry associations, including small scale industries and retail traders. Replying to a question, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Ashwani Kumar said that barring a single brand, no FDI was permitted in retail trading as per existing policy.

However, he said government had tasked Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) to assess the impact of organised retailing on unorganised retail trade. The Minister said National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) had been asked to study the growth linkages of FDI and impact of FDI on rural economy, adding final reports were yet to be submitted by both the bodies.

Some of the 48 representations against FDI in retail trade had named Britain's retail major Marks&Spencer and Reliance which had recently tied up, and also Walmart-Bharti citing their opposition.

Quoting a Mckinsey's study, Federation of Associations of Maharasthra, which has been sending representations to the government since 2000, said Thailand government was forced to consider a law for controlling large multinational corporations in retail sector in view of the adverse impact on its opening to MNCs.

Madhya Pradesh Laghu Udyog Sangh and Mahakoshal Chamber of Commerce and Industry vigorously opposed entry of MNCs like Marks&Spencer, saying it would hurt small traders and industries. Besides Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the government had received representations against FDI in retail trade from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal.


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