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Government will not approve FDI in multi-brand retail, says Commerce Minister

Government will not approve FDI in multi-brand retail, says Commerce Minister

While the new government is against FDI in multi-brand retail, it has not yet initiated any move to scrap the UPA government's policy of allowing FDI in the sector.

The UPA government had allowed up to 51 per cent FDI in the sector (Photo: Reuters) The UPA government had allowed up to 51 per cent FDI in the sector (Photo: Reuters)

The government will not allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday.

"We are clear that FDI will not be allowed in multi-brand retail trade. We shall not entertain FDI in MBRT. There is no ambiguity. There is no confusion on this," she said while addressing a press conference to mark 100 days of the new government.

Sitharaman said her party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has clearly articulated its position on the MBRT and had won the elections on the basis of the manifesto.

The UPA government had opened the multi-brand retail sector for foreign investment and allowed up to 51 per cent FDI in the sector, while the BJP had opposed the policy.

While the new government is against FDI in the sector, it has not yet initiated any move to scrap the policy of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail approved by the UPA government.

The politically sensitive multi-brand retail segment in India employees millions and is dominated by mom-and-pop stores.

During the UPA regime, only one investment proposal of UK-based Tesco was cleared for the sector.