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The pros and cons of FDI in retailing
BT Online Bureau     New Delhi   November 24, 2011    
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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 favour 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 favour: - 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 - It will induce better competition in the market, thus benefiting both producers and consumers (With IANS inputs)

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