New Delhi: The meeting of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which was scheduled to consider the Rs 10,500 crore proposal of Swedish furniture major IKEA, did not take place Wednesday due to paucity of time.
"It was on the agenda of the CCEA but CCEA could not meet today because of lack of time, the Cabinet took nearly two hours and then we have the CCS...I think the CCEA meeting will be fixed now...May be tomorrow, may be early next week," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters here.
In its application, IKEA had proposed to invest the amount for setting up 10 furnishing and homeware stores as well as allied infrastructure over 10 years in India. Subsequently, it plans to open 15 more stores.
Earlier in January, Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) had cleared the investment plan of the firm to open single-brand retail stores in the country.
FIPB can clear foreign investment proposals worth up to Rs 1,200 crore. As IKEA's planned investment is higher than this, the proposal has to be cleared by the Cabinet.
IKEA's would be the largest investment in the single-brand retailing ever since the government allowed foreign investment in this sector. The company has been sourcing many products from India for the past 25 years.
Meanwhile, the proposal for setting up two major ports, at an investment of about Rs 16,000 crore, is also likely to be taken up during the next CCEA meeting following postponement of today's meeting.
The two ports -- one each in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh -- is expected to augment the capacity of major ports by 100 million tonnes.
The ports, to be operated in public-private-partnership mode, are intended to cater to the increased import of coal and oil besides boosting local economy and jobs.
Earlier, while presenting the Budget, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said that two new major ports will be established in Sagar, West Bengal and in Andhra Pradesh to add 100 million tonnes (MT) of capacity.
With establishment of these two ports, the number of major ports in the country will increase to 14.
India at present has 12 major ports -- Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Kolkata (with Haldia), Chennai, Cochin, Paradip, New Mangalore, Marmagao, Ennore, Tuticorin, Kandla and Visakhapatanam.
The 12 major ports handle 58 percent of the total cargo traffic while non-major ports handle 42 percent.
The major ports handled 545 MT of cargo in 2012-13 as compared to 561 MT in 2011-12.