Amendment of the existing policy on Foreign Direct Investment in Single-Brand Product Retail Trading

Press Note No. 4 (2012 Series), dated 20-9-2012

1.0 Present Position:

1.1 Paragraph 6.2.16.4 of ‘Circular 1 of 2012-Consolidated FDI Policy’, effective from April 10, 2012, relating to single-brand product retail trading, presently reads as below:

6.2.16.4 Single Brand product retail trading 100% Government
(1) Foreign Investment in Single Brand product retail trading is aimed at attracting investments in production and marketing, improving the availability of such goods for the consumer, encouraging increased sourcing of goods from India, and enhancing competitiveness of Indian enterprises through access to global designs, technologies and management practices.

(2) FDI in Single Brand product retail trading would be subject to the following conditions:

(a)  Products to be sold should be of a ‘Single Brand’ only.

(b)  Products should be sold under the same brand internationally i.e. products should be sold under the same brand in one or more countries other than India.

(c)  ‘Single Brand’ product-retail trading would cover only products which are branded during manufacturing.

(d)  The foreign investor should be the owner of the brand.

(e)  In respect of proposals involving FDI beyond 51%, mandatory sourcing of at least 30% of the value of products sold would have to be done from Indian ‘small industries/village and cottage industries, artisans and craftsmen’. ‘Small industries’ would be defined as industries which have a total investment in plant & machinery not exceeding US $ 1.00 million. This valuation refers to the value at the time of installation, without providing for depreciation. Further, if at any point in time, this valuation is exceeded, the industry shall not qualify as a ‘small industry’ for this purpose. The compliance of this condition will be ensured through self-certification by the company, to be subsequently checked, by statutory auditors, from the duly certified accounts, which the company will be required to maintain.

(3) Application seeking permission of the Government for FDI in retail trade of ‘Single Brand’ products would be made to the Secretariat for Industrial Assistance (SIA) in the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion. The application would specifically indicate the product/product categories which are proposed to be sold under a ‘Single Brand’. Any addition to the product/product categories to be sold under ‘Single Brand’ would require a fresh approval of the Government.

(4) Applications would be processed in the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, to determine whether the products proposed to be sold satisfy the notified guidelines, before being considered by the FIPB for Government approval.

2.0 Revised Position:

2.1 The Government of India has reviewed the position in this regard and decided to amend paragraphs 6.2.16.4 (2) (d) & 6.2.16.4 (2) (e) of the existing policy.

3.0 Amendment to paragraph

3.1 Accordingly, paragraph 6.2.16.4 of ‘Circular 1 of 2012-Consolidated FDI Policy, effective from April 10, 2012, is amended, as below:

6.2.16.4 Single Brand product retail trading 100% Government
(1) Foreign Investment in Single Brand product retail trading is aimed at attracting investments in production and marketing, improving the availability of such goods for the consumer, encouraging increased sourcing of goods from India, and enhancing competitiveness of Indian enterprises through access to global designs, technologies and management practices.

(2) FDI in Single Brand product retail trading would be subject to the following conditions:

(a)  Products to be sold should be of a ‘Single Brand’ only.

(b)  Products should be sold under the same brand internationally i.e. products should be sold under the same brand in one or more countries other than India.

(c)  ‘Single Brand’ product-retail trading would cover only products which are branded during manufacturing.

(d)  Only one non-resident entity, whether owner of the brand or otherwise, shall be permitted to undertake single brand product retail trading in the country, for the specific brand, through a legally tenable agreement, with the brand owner for undertaking single brand product retail trading in respect of the specific brand for which approval is being sought. The onus for ensuring compliance with this condition shall rest with the Indian entity carrying out single-brand product retail trading in India. The investing entity shall provide evidence to this effect at the time of seeking approval, including a copy of the licensing/franchise/sub-licence agreement, specifically indicating compliance with the above condition.

(e)  In respect of proposals involving FDI beyond 51%, sourcing of 30% of the value of goods purchased, will be done from India, preferably from MSMEs, village and cottage industries, artisans and craftsmen, in all sectors. The quantum of domestic sourcing will be self-certified by the company, to be subsequently checked, by statutory auditors, from the duly certified accounts which the company will be required to maintain. This procurement requirement would have to be met, in the first instance, as an average of five years’ total value of the goods purchased, beginning 1st April of the year during which the first tranche of FDI is received. Thereafter, it would have to be met on an annual basis. For the purpose of ascertaining the sourcing requirement, the relevant entity would be the company, incorporated in India, which is the recipient of FDI for the purpose of carrying out single-brand product retail trading.

(f)  Retail trading, in any form, by means of e-commerce, would not be permissible, for companies with FDI, engaged in the activity of single-brand retail trading.

(3) Applications seeking permission of the Government for FDI in retail trade of ‘Single Brand’ products would be made to the Secretariat for Industrial Assistance (SIA) in the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion. The applications would specifically indicate the product/product categories which are proposed to be sold under a ‘Single Brand’. Any addition to the product/product categories to be sold under ‘Single Brand’ would require a fresh approval of the Government.

(4) Applications would be processed in the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, to determine whether the proposed investment satisfies the notified guidelines, before being considered by the FIPB for Government approval.

4.0 The above decision will take immediate effect.

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