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Retail FDI: Industry Welcomes Move

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Government move to push through retail reforms was welcomed by business. "India will open the country's retail industry to foreign supermarkets", Food Minister K.V. Thomas told reporters on Thursday, a much delayed reform expected to help unclog supply bottlenecks and ease inflation over time.

Raj Jain, CEO & MD, Bharti Walmart said retail can be an engine of growth all over India offering more job opportunities and helping families save money so they can live better. FDI would help accelerate this process. Bharti will invest in back-end infrastructure that will help reduce wastage of farm produce, improve the livelihood of farmers, lower prices of products and ease supply-side constraints that contribute to inflation. Organized retail and kiranas can very easily co-exist, as they do in both developed and developing economies around the world. In fact, our wholesale cash-and-carry stores "Best Price Modern Wholesale" allows literally thousands of kiranas to flourish through access to quality, low-priced merchandise and produce, business training and much more.

Rakesh Biyani, Joint MD, Pantaloon Retail India Ltd welcomed the government move, saying it is a move in the right direction as investment in retail is important to ensure further growth in consumption. Retail sources more than 50 per cent of its products from within the country. Thus, new jobs will be created in front and back ends leading to a positive impact in regional economy. With better integration from Farm to Fork, reduction in supply chain times, costs & wastage prices will come down over a period. The Mom & Pop stores will benefit from a better backend and larger product offering and will continue to grow. There will be more choice of products, better quality & lower prices.

Sanjiv Goenka, CII and Group Chairman, RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, said retail FDI will help consolidate back-end services and introduce better retail management practices, thereby bring down costs and improve viability. With this announcement, the government has sent strong signals that Reforms are back on the agenda. This is positive for the economy. 

Thomas Varghese, CEO, Aditya Birla Retail Ltd said the move would open up significant opportunities in India for expansion of organized retail and allow substantial investment in backend infrastructure like cold chains, warehousing, logistics, expansion of contract farming and development of small and medium enterprises.

Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Bharti Enterprises Ltd, said FDI in multi brand retail can be a game changer by making Indian agriculture more competitive by addressing our infrastructural constraints and reducing losses across the value chain.

CII President B Muthuraman said the industry body strongly supported the introduction of FDI in multi-brand Retail recognizing that it would benefit the consumers, producers (farmers) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and generate significant employment. This would open up enormous opportunities in India for expansion of organized retail and allow substantial investment in backend infrastructure like cold chains, warehousing and logistics. India with an 8–9 per cent growth in GDP is a consumer driven economy and modern retail has to step up, to be able to meet consumer aspirations not only in metro cities and towns, but across the Indian sub-continent.

Chandrajit Banerjee, DG, CII said the biggest beneficiary of this announcement of FDI in Retail would be the small farmers who will be able to improve their productivity and realization by selling directly to large organized players and therefore do away with the intermediate parties in the current value chain.