Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wal-Mart has not applied for retail stores-India min



Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest retailer, has not sought to invest in retail stores in India, the junior trade minister told parliament on Wednesday.

The U.S. firm has also not sought any changes to India's ban on foreign holdings in multi-brand retail, Jyotiraditya Scindia said in a written reply.

India does not permit foreign direct investment in multiple-brand retailers, and caps foreign holdings in single-branded retailers at 51 percent.

Wal-Mart currently runs cash-and-carry operations in India in partnership with Bharti Enterprises.

Trade Minister Anand Sharma told parliament the government had no plans to review foreign ownership rules for the retail sector.

The entry of multinational retailers like Wal-Mart into India has been mired in controversy, with moves to open up the sector opposed by leftist parties and small traders fearful of job losses.

India's fragmented and tightly controlled $400-billion retail industry is forecast to nearly double in size by 2015, but less than 5 percent of the market is in the hands of modern retailers.

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