NEW DELHI (TIP): Showing resolve for reforms, the government on September 20 notified its decision to allow global retail giants like Walmart to open stores in India, on a day several political parties called Bharat Bandh to protest against the policy.
With this notification, multinational retailers can invest up to 51 per cent to open stores in 10 states and UTs which, till date, have agreed to implement the decision.
“51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retailing, in all products, will be permitted …,” a notification by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) said. It said the decision will take immediate effect.
The DIPP also operationalised September 14 Cabinet decisions to relax the sourcing norms for foreign retailers investing beyond 51 per cent in single-brand retail and allow 49 per cent FDI by foreign airlies in the domestic carriers.
Besides, the decisions on permitting 49 per cent FDI in power exchanges and increase in foreign equity cap from 49 per cent to 74 per cent in the service providers like DTH in broadcasting sector have also been notified.
In the most controversial area of FDI in multi-brand, the the DIPP said the State Governments and UTs would be free to take their own decisions. “Therefore, retail sales outlets may be set up in those States\UTs which have agreed, or agree in future, to allow FDI in MBRT (multi-brand retail trading) under this policy”.
Minimum amount to be brought in by the foreign investor would be USD 100 million and outlets may be set up only in cities with a population of more than 10 lakh. At least 50 per cent of FDI should be invested in ‘back-end infrastructure’ within three years of the first tranche. To protest against the government’s decision, NDA, Left and SP called Bharat Bandh. The parties were also protesting against the diesel price hike and cap on subsidised LPG.