New Delhi: The government may allow foreign direct investment (FDI) for specific sectors such as electronic and sports goods in retail if an expert study going into the issue foresees no impact on the neighbourhood mom and pop stores.
“We are expecting the Icrier (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations) report on retail by the end of February... But I want to see the whole report and make sure what I believe is correct and is backed by a report,” commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said. Nath said he had commissioned Icrier to come out with a study on retail to understand the impact of big retail on the small shops.
Nath said retail has to be seen in an India-specific context and not in a general sense. “Retail in India is not like retail in Malaysia or Thailand.”
The commerce minister said FDI in specific sectors would create additional jobs. He said that an international sports goods brand entering India would not be competing with a kirana store, since that is a different type of retail.
Barring defence equipment, retail and the financial sector, FDI norms for all other key sectors have been liberalized, he said.
On 30 January, the government liberalized FDI norms in areas such as civil aviation, petroleum refining, credit information companies, industrial parks and commodity exchanges.