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Suspension of FDI in retail just a pause: Sharma to global CEOs
Source: Jan 28, 2012
India today assured global CEOs that its reforms agenda is well on course and the decision to put on hold FDI in multi-brand retail is "just a pause", forced by compulsions of coalition politics.

A firm assurance in this regard was given by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma when he met top management functionaries of global retail chains Walmart and the Metro Group on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting here.

This is for the first time that senior management of the two retailers met any minister after Indian government suspended the controversial decision to open Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail on November 24.

Sharma said the decision to open 51% FDI in multi-brand retail could not be implemented because of the compulsions of coalition politics as also partisan opposition.

"It is just a pause. The decision has only been put on a temporary halt. India growth story is intact and the government is committed to take forward the reform agenda."

He said while the government has restarted consultations taking on board concerns of agrarian states, only the bona fide objections would be taken into account.
His assurance seems to have gone down well with both Walmart and Metro.

"If retail FDI happens, it would be good for the entire trade and the Indian government seems to be confident about that," Frans W H Muller, Member of the management board of German-based Metro Group said.

Walmart Executive Vice-President (Corporate Affairs) Leslie Dach said "We are hopeful about the government allowing FDI in retail. India is a very big growth market for us. We do understand that things take some time in democracy. Even the US similar things do happen."

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