New Delhi: Bharti Retail Thursday said it is awaiting clarifications from the government on FDI policy in multi-brand retail before going ahead with its future retail expansion plans.
The company, which is understood to have returned 17 properties it had leased across the country to open Easyday stores, however claimed that it was "business as usual" at the moment for it and its partner Walmart.
"The retail industry is currently awaiting clarity around its suggestions to the government on the conditions linked to FDI in multi-brand retail. Once we have the clarity, we will be in a position to spell out our future plans. Until then, its business as usual at Bharti Retail and our JV with Walmart," said a Bharti spokesperson.
Last month, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotions (DIPP) had clarified that foreign retailers entering India's multi-brand segment will not be allowed to franchise their stores and will have to put 50 per cent of their investments in back-end infrastructure specifically for the chain they are setting up.
Later, Walmart, Tesco, Carrefour and domestic companies, had however, sought further clarifications, stating that sourcing rules for multi-brand must be made similar to that of single brand while demanding foreign firms be allowed to put only 50 per cent of first tranche of investment in back-end infrastructure.
The Bharti spokesperson refused to confirm or deny reports of Bharti Retail returning 17 properties leased to expand its retail operations.
The company's cash and carry partner Walmart had last year said it was investigating allegations of violation of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the US that bars bribing officials of foreign governments, in India and other countries including China and Brazil.
Last month, Walmart's India President Raj Jain was replaced by Ramnik Narsey, who served as Senior Vice-President for Walmart International.
Bharti Walmart has been facing investigations from Indian authorities over its investment in one of the business entities of its Indian partner Bharti Enterprises.
First Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013, 18:55