Walmart, Tesco chiefs to meet Sharma on retail sector issues

Prakash Chawla

Davos, Jan 27 (PTI) World''s top retailers Walmart andTesco have chosen the WEF meeting on the Swiss Alps tostrengthen their networking with the Indian government, whichis mulling to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in thepolitically sensitive multi-brand retail sector.

Walmart CEO Mike Duke and Tesco CEO Terry Leahy will meetCommerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma here later thisevening. The government is contemplating to allow FDI inmulti-brand retail sector.

At present, 51 per cent FDI is permitted in single brandretail, while 100 per cent is allowed in the wholesalecash-and-carry segment. However, no FDI is allowed in themulti-brand retail.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)is studying the report submitted by an expert committee, whichhas evaluated stakeholder comments on opening up of thesector. Earlier, it had floated discussion papers on openingup the area to FDI.

Retail giants like US-based Walmart and French Carrefourare very keen to enter the segment. Bharti Enterprises andWal-Mart Stores entered into a joint venture in August 2007and started cash-and-carry stores named ''BestPrice ModernWholesale'' in 2009.

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