INDIAN RETAIL REFORM CONTROVERSY

25 Nov, 2011

Indian retail reform plans met with chaos in Parliament:

 

Plans to reform the Indian retail market have been met with controversy in the Parliament.

 

The cabinet has announced its decision to open up the retail market to international supermarket brands such as Tesco and Wal-Mart, who, under current rules are only allowed to sell wholesale in India, and not retail – directly to customers.

 

The plans unleashed chaos in parliament with people shouting and waving banners, resulting in the adjournment of the lower house, reported the BBC.

 

Trade Minister, Anand Sharma, said in a subsequent press conference that the scheme would create ‘tens of millions’ of jobs.

 

The planned rules will allow 51per cent foreign direct ownership (FDI) of multi-brand retail stores and advocates of the plan claim that it will boost quality and competition, whilst at the same time reduce prices, which have soared recently due to severe inflation rates. However, challengers to the move argue that the global brands will force out smaller Indian businesses and have a negative effect on prices being paid to native farmers.

 

 

Picture: Indian parliament

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