In response to a Calling Attention Notice given by Shri Nishikant Dubey and Shri Gurudas Dasgupta, Members of Parliament, the Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee made the following Statement in the Lok Sabha:

It has been stated in Para 31 of the Budget Speech 2011-12 that to make the FDI policy more user-friendly, all prior regulations and guidelines have been consolidated into one comprehensive document, which is reviewed every six months. The last review has been released in September 2010. This has been done with the specific intent of enhancing clarity and predictability of our FDI policy to foreign investors. Discussions are underway to further liberalize the FDI policy. The status of FDI Policy in respect of Multi-Brand Retail Trading is as under:

1. The existing policy allows for 51% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), in only single brand retail trade, subject to specified conditions. Government has received representations and suggestions from trade bodies and investors for allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.

2. Towards this end, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion had released a Discussion Paper titled “Foreign Direct Investment in Multi-Brand Retail Trading”, with the aim of generating informed discussion on the subject and obtaining the views and comments of various stakeholders. Comments were received from a number of stakeholders, including Ministries/Departments of the Government of India.

3. An Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) was constituted to examine the comments received on the Discussion paper. The Committee was headed by the Senior Economic Advisor, Department of Consumer Affairs.

4. The Committee has since submitted its report to the Government. The Committee’s report has not made any recommendation relating to FDI in Multi-Brand Retail Trading. It has analyzed the responses received to the Discussion paper, collated and summarized them. The Government has not taken any decision in this regard.

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