Government will consider repealing the 51 per cent FDI policy in multi-brand retail, while no proposal would be entertained for opening supermarkets in India by foreign players, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.
“I will go back to the Cabinet and say should we delete one document. I am not going to entertain any proposal in multi-brand retail,” the Commerce and Industry Minister told Bloomberg TV India.
The statement comes amid a fresh controversy after the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion ( DIPP) in its consolidated FDI policy retained the previous UPA government’s decision to allow foreign retailers to open multi-brand stores with 51 per cent ownership.
She also said “we will ensure FDI in e-commerce does not become a back door for FDI into multi-brand retail”.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently said the BJP was “never” in favour of allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and a recent government notification only published the extant policy on it.
Only one investment proposal of the UK-based Tesco has been cleared since 51 per cent FDI was allowed in 2012.
The ruling BJP in its election manifesto had said: “Barring the multi-brand retail sector, FDI will be allowed in sectors wherever needed for job and asset creation, infrastructure and acquisition of niche technology and specialised expertise.”