Protest in Parliament as Govt allows FDI in retail

New Delhi: Government today informed Parliament that it has allowed 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, a decision which faced strong criticism, including from key UPA ally Trinamool Congress.

In a statement, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said both in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha that the policy on single brand retail has also been liberalised, removing the 51 per cent cap on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, which is dominated by neighbourhood stores, will be subject to riders including a minimum investment of USD 100 million (Rs 5,200 crore).

At least 50 per cent of the investment would in the back-end infrastructure like cold storage, packaging and other logistics.

The global retail chains like Walmart and Carrefour will have to source at least 30 per cent of their requirements from small industries. Besides, they will be allowed only in cities with one million people.

The entire Opposition and Trinamool Congress protested against the decision by creating uproar in both the Houses.

Trinamool Congress members joined the Opposition and trooped into the Well shouting slogans against the decision.

In the Rajya Sabha, Sharma`s statement giving details of the decision was torn into pieces by CPI-M and BJP members.

In the din, Sharma could not complete his statement and both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned till Monday.