India PM sees bright future with foreign retailers



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Saturday 8 December 2012

Last update 9 December 2012 12:37 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

NEW DELHI: India's prime minister voiced confidence yesterday that allowing in foreign supermarkets will benefit the nation's farmers and consumers, a day after parliament narrowly voted to approve the measure.
After heated debate, Indian lawmakers on Friday rejected an opposition motion against the government's decision to open up the retail sector to foreign companies such as US giant Walmart.
Foreign investment in the retail sector "will introduce new technology and investment in marketing agricultural produce," Singh told agriculture students in the city of Ludhiana in India's wheat-bowl state of Punjab.
"India must take full advantage of modern technology and operational and management experience of big supply chains in the food retail business to make this happen," Singh said,
"I am confident that it will benefit our farmers and the consumers of our country," he said, according to a copy of the speech released on his website.
The Congress-led government hopes the entry of big retail chains such as US-based Walmart — which aims to be one of the first in India to set up foreign-owned megastores — will overhaul India's antiquated supply system.
The government says it wants to link retail and farming through state-of-the-art distribution systems with proper cold storage and transport — giving consumers fresher food at lower prices and farmers bigger incomes.
Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on Friday told Parliament during debate on the retail motion that around 35 percent of India's fruits and vegetables rot before they reach the market.
But opposition parties say allowing the entry of foreign supermarkets could drive the country's millions of small, family-owned stores which dominate India's retail market out of business.
After dithering for years over policy, Singh's government unveiled a string of changes in September, throwing open key sectors such as retail and aviation while proposing greater foreign investment in insurance and pensions.
The market-opening push comes as India faces a sharply slowing economy, a gaping fiscal deficit and high inflation, which has stoked pressure on an administration already under fire for corruption.
Even with the liberalization steps, foreign supermarkets seeking to enter India will have to abide by a number of rules such as investing a minimum of $ 100 million and opening stores only in towns with populations of over one million.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom has shared very friendly relations with the United States since the beginning of bilateral ties in the 1930s when full diplomatic relations were established. Despite all the ups and downs in recent years on certain policies, especially on...
AL-NAIRIYA: Women in Al-Nairiya governorate have called on the government to only allow gender-based voting because they believe this would allow women to get places on the new municipal councils.Nouf Al-Otaibi, a businesswoman in the area, said men...
Eighty-six-year-old American twins who met King Abdul Aziz in 1947 and King Abdullah in 2008 are now set to meet Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman in Washington on Saturday during his official visit.North County twins Jackie Voskamp and J...
RIYADH: Women in Saudi Arabia have been allocated a package of services to ensure their development and employment, Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani said Tuesday.The minister was speaking at the first panel discussion at the second National Business...
JEDDAH: Security authorities in Turaif in the Northern Border Province have arrested a young man in his 20s for killing his parents and wounding his siblings at their house on Wednesday.The arrested man reportedly used a sharp object to kill his pare...
The Date and Palm Festival, organized by the Royal Commission for Jubail (RCJ) at the Al-Fanateer waterfront in Jubail Industrial City, has received more than 90,000 visitors since its launch last Thursday.In addition, on Sunday the event received mo...

Stay Connected

Facebook