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Saturday, 3 December 2011

< India for Sale >.... Foreign direct investment ( FDI ) in Retailing ....

Mathan's Cartoon in VIKATAN
    FDI can be defined as a cross border investment, where foreign assets are invested into the organizations of the domestic market excluding the investment in stock. It brings private funds from overseas into products or services. The domestic company in which foreign currency is invested is usually being controlled by the investing foreign company.

   In the past decades, FDI was concerned only with highly industrialized countries. US was the worlds largest recipient of FDI during 2006 with an investment of 184 million from OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. France, Greece, Iceland, Poland, Slovak Republic, Switzerland and Turkey also have a positive record in FDI investments.

Division of  Retail Industry – Organised and Unorganised Retailing

The retail industry is mainly divided into:- 1) Organised and 2) Unorganised Retailing

Organised retailing refers to trading activities undertaken by licensed retailers, that is, those who are registered for sales tax, income tax, etc. These include the corporate-backed hypermarkets and retail chains, and also the privately owned large retail businesses.

Unorganised retailing, on the other hand, refers to the traditional formats of low-cost retailing, for example, the local kirana shops, owner manned general stores, paan/beedi shops, convenience stores, hand cart and pavement vendors, etc.

The Indian retail sector is highly fragmented with 97 per cent of its business being run by the unorganized retailers. The organized retail however is at a very nascent stage. The sector is the largest source of employment after agriculture, and has deep penetration into rural India generating more than 10 per cent of India’s GDP.


   The Cabinet has approved 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, a decision that will allow global mega chains like Wal-Mart, Tesco and Carrefour to open outlets in India.

   The Cabinet also increased the foreign investment (FDI) ceiling to 100 per cent from the present 51 per cent in single-brand retail.

The following are the main issues raised by those in favor of foreign equity in multi-brand retailing and those opposed to it:

Those against:

- It will lead to closure of tens of thousands of mom-and-pop shops across the country and endanger livelihood of 40 million people
- It may bring down prices initially, but fuel inflation once multinational companies get a stronghold in the retail market
- Farmers may be given remunerative prices initially, but eventually they will be at the mercy of big retailers
- Small and medium enterprises will become victims of predatory pricing policies of multinational retailers
- It will disintegrate established supply chains by encouraging monopolies of global retailers

Those in favor:

- It will cut intermediaries between farmers and the retailers, thereby helping them get more money for their produce
- It will help in bringing down prices at retail level and calm inflation
- Big retail chains will invest in supply chains which will reduce wastage, estimated at 40 percent in the case of fruits and vegetables
- Small and medium enterprises will have a bigger market, along with better technology and branding
- It will bring much-needed foreign investment into the country, along with technology and global best-practices
- It will actually create employment than displace people engaged in small stores.

Reference :


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