Will decide on opening multi-brand retail to FDI: Sharma

August 3rd, 2011 - 6:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) The government Wednesday said it will take an “early, appropriate and correct” policy decision on allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail after it gets the recommendations of an official panel.

Answering queries from members in the Rajya Sabha, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said total retail business in the country was to the tune of Rs.16 lakh crore and it employs about 35 million people.

He said 96 percent of the people in retail trade were in the unorganised sector.

“The government will take a considered view in national interest,” he said.

The minister said a group of secretaries headed by the cabinet secretary had last month made specific recommendations on the issue of opening multi-brand retail to FDI but the minutes of the meeting had not reached him.

He said the recommendations included that 50 percent of jobs should go to rural areas and the entities with FDI should source at least 30 percent of their requirements from the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector.

Sharma said India was the second largest producer of foodgrains and fruits and vegetables and there was need to significantly reduce post-harvest losses.

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