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No FDI in retail if it hits small players: Nath

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 9 (UNI) There is no question of allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail if it adversely affects the small retailers in the country, minister of commerce and industry Kamal Nath said today.

At a meeting with the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) when its 12-member delegation called on him, Mr Nath reiterating the government's commitment to ensure employment generation. The minister said he will look at only such models where there would be no displacement of the small players in the retail sector.

As of now, there is no policy for FDI in retail. The government had ensured suitable safeguards against adverse impact on small traders by allowing FDI only in retail of single brand products, said Mr Nath adding that the main concern was not foreign versus domestic but big versus the small.

The issue was not just about buying and selling but also about access to technology and backward linkages especially in sectors like food processing so as to reduce wastage of fruits and vegetables and ensure better returns to the farmers for their produce, he said.

''I have not yet found the right model for retail,'' the minister said.

The CAIT delegation, which was led by secretary general Praveen Khandelwal, presented a paper on core domestic trade issues to Mr Nath which calls for abrogation/amendment of outdated laws and regulations, simplification and rationalisation of the tax structure including merger of all commercial taxes on domestic trade into a single tax and abolition of the central sales tax, better banking facilities for traders, formation of a ministry of internal trade at both the central and state levels and protection to domestic trade from FDI.

The confederation has decided to celebrate the August 9 every year as the traders' day.


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