: In a major decision, the government Thursday approved 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail paving the way for global giants like WalMart to open mega stores in cities with population of over one million.
The big retailers would bring in minimum investment of USD 100 million, of which half should be in the back-end infrastructure like cold chains, processing and packaging.
These players would have to source at least 30 percent of manufactured and processed products from small-scale units.
Battling near double digit inflation, government has been trying to build a consensus on the issue for the last 17 months, contending the entry of MNCs in retail would contain inflation.
Considering space constraint in big cities, stores can come up within 10 km of 53 cities with one million population.
Hailing the move, India Inc said the move would help bring in the much needed capital for the sector.
"It is a win-win situation for everyone. With the amount of money to be invested in back-end, supply chain and farm sector will benefit," Future Group Chief Executive Officer Kishore Biyani said.
Industry body CII said it strongly supports the introduction of FDI in multi-brand retail as it would benefit consumers, producers (farmers), small and medium enterprises and generate significant employment.
"This would open up enormous opportunities in India for expansion of organised retail and allow substantial investment in the back-end infrastructure like cold chains, warehousing, logistics and expansion of contract farming," CII President B Muthuraman said in a statement.