Sharma hopeful of FIPB nod for IKEA's proposal

Sharma hopeful of FIPB nod for IKEA's proposal New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Thursday expressed the hope that the FIPB would clear the Swedish furniture major IKEA's proposal to set up cafeterias at its single-brand retail outlets.

"We have cleared it. I have no reason to doubt because there were certain clarifications which were required. We are satisfied and accordingly DIPP has conveyed the same and forwarded it with its recommendations for the final approval," Sharma told reporters here after inaugurating Ficci's Technotex 2013 here.

He said this in response to a question whether the FIPB would approve IKEA's proposal on Monday. The FIPB meeting which was scheduled for January 18 has now been scheduled for January 21.

The proposal of Ingka Holding Overseas BV, IKEA's parent company, was withdrawn from the agenda of the board's meeting held on December 31 as the government had sought more information from the Swedish furniture major about its India investment plans.

FIPB has already approved Rs 4,200 crore out of a total of Rs 10,500 crore investment proposal by IKEA to open single- brand retail stores in India with only some categories of products allowed to be sold from a total of 33 that the company had applied for.

Following the part approval, the company made a representation to the industry department, which forwarded the request to FIPB seeking review of its November 20 decision. The issue was listed on the agenda of the last meeting of FIPB held on December 31.

Answering questions on his bilateral meeting with Pakistan Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim in Agra at the Annual Partnership Summit, Sharma said: "There was no scheduled meeting".

PTI