New Delhi: Two companies, including fashion chain Benetton Group, have sought approval of the government to enter India through the “FDI in single-brand retail" route.

The Benetton Group sells apparel under the brand name of United Colors of Benetton.

Benetton India Pvt. Ltd has sought approval to undertake e-commerce and retail trading of imported goods, according to the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP).

Karnataka-based Actoserba Active Wholesale Pvt. Ltd wants to undertake single-brand retail trading and e-commerce of Zivame branded lingerie products. Two foreign individuals—Katarzyna Dmoch and Rami Shinnawie—have also sought nod from the government to set up a 100% foreign-owned Indian retail arm of Caracole Interior Designs, Qatar.

Currently, foreign direct investment (FDI) up to 49% is permitted under the automatic route but beyond that limit, government’s nod is required. Foreign investment is allowed subject to certain conditions, which require products to be of a “single brand" only and to be sold under the same brand globally.

Furthermore, in respect of proposals involving FDI beyond 51%, it is mandatory to source 30% of the value of goods purchased from India, preferably MSMEs. To attract more FDI in retail sector, government is considering allowing 100% foreign investment through automatic route in single-brand retail to attract a larger number of global players in the sector.

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