Foreign retail chains still cautious on India plans

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2012 21:00 hrs

pEven as the government won the retail foreign direct investment FDI vote in the Rajya Sabha on Friday following the victory in the Lok Sabha two days ago foreign retail chains are still not ready to talk about their India plansppThe last hurdle &mdashamendment to the Foreign Exchange Management Act Fema &mdash is yet to be crossed pointed out a source It too has to pass the Rajya Sabha test Although it may not be a stumbling block foreign players would rather wait till it is all clear for them in the 500-billion Rs 25 lakh crore Indian retail market said the sourceppAccording to experts the real action on the ground linked to opening of stores could be expected only after a yearppUK-based Tesco is the only foreign-owned chain to offer a comment after the Rajya Sabha vote While welcoming the development the company spokesperson said Tesco was &ldquoreviewing the conditions&rdquo without elaborating further &ldquoWe already have a successful franchise arrangement with Tata&rsquos Star Bazaar stores and we are hopeful that this development will allow more Indian consumers business and communities to benefit from world-class retail investment&rdquo the spokesperson added Early this week Tesco had announced that it had initiated a review in the US market for its &lsquoFresh and Easy&rsquo stores thereppThe largest retailer of the world Bentonville-based Walmart declined to comment on the latest development in Parliament Its 50 per cent Indian partner in the cash and carry or wholesale venture Bharti Enterprises too chose to be silent on the moveppCurrently Walmart is facing an Enforcement Directorate investigation over its alleged investment into a Bharti arm in violation of the Fema rules Also the American chain is probing likely corruption cases in the organisation in relation to the India market among other geographiesppFrench retailer Carrefour which too has been in India with its cash and carry business hoping it can roll out its supermarket stores here refused to talk around the political developments on retail FDIp

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