The commerce and industry ministry, after receiving a ‘positive feedback’ from several state governments on the issue of foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, will be calling a meeting of the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) next month to push it through.
Top sources in the commerce ministry as well as the state governments of Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra and Punjab have confirmed that there appears to be a wide-ranging agreement on the issue, even if the “politics of the matter is still intractable”.
“We were particularly heartened by the response of Gujarat and Punjab governments, ruled by the BJP and the Akali Dal-BJP combine, respectively. The Gujarat government, in its response, in fact said that FDI in multi-brand retail would push infrastructure in some areas and help farmers get remunerative prices for their produce,” said a top official in the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP).
Government officials said that rising food inflation was one of the triggers which could propel the clearing of this proposal. “Despite the fact that 100% FDI is permitted in cold chain through the automatic route, there has not been a significant cash flow in this segment,” said an official.