Thursday, July 8, 2010

Discussion Paper about FDI in Multi Brand Retail

In April 26th DIPP had announced (as reported in the press) that the discussion paper would be released and discussions would start next month. Promptly the next day the Commerce Minister categorically states that the government is currently not working on the possibility of FDI in Retail. This changing stance seems to find an echo in the paper even after it has been finally released. To quote a point stated right at the start of the note “The views expressed in this discussion paper should not be construed as the views of the government. The department hopes to generate informed discussion on the subject, so as to enable the Government to take an appropriate policy decision at the appropriate time”.

DIPP is a department of the Commerce Ministry. This is a detailed discussion note prepared by this department and quotes several facts, figures and refers to several research and studies done including one by a Parliamentary standing committee. Yet, it starts by absolving any Government perspective to the note. In light of this, how seriously can anyone take this note? Is it yet another document put together for the want of anything else to do?

A detailed perspective about this was published in "The Hindu Business Line"  today.  Look forward to your feedback and views.


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