India’s Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma, expects the decision of the Union Cabinet to permit foreign direct investment (FDI) into multi-brand retail in the country will create 10 million new jobs, including 6 million in the logistics sector alone.
Responding to concerns about the consequences of the FDI policy, Sharma said at a conference that the Indian model has been drafted in such a way that it is sensitive to the interests of farmers, youth and consumers. He added that the policy was prepared after 18 to 20 months of extensive consultations with all the states and stakeholders like farmers unions, consumers and retailers associations.
Sharma explained that this is only an enabling policy wherein the decision to implement rests with the respective states. So far states such as Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Rajasthan have welcomed the policy and the government hoped that other states will follow suit.
He stressed that the retail sales locations could be set up only in cities with a population of more than 1 million and only 53 cities out of 8,000 towns in the country meet that goal. Sharma noted that for the rest of the country, the current policy continues to apply.