Montek Singh Ahluwalia pitching in for FDI in online retail

Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, on Friday expressed his deep concerns about FDI in online retail, while expressing his views on this he said that there is no reason to bar Foreign investment in online retail, he also propose to raise this issue with Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma soon.

Montek said as the government has allowed FDI in conventional retail but not in online retail there is no reason in it as online retail is just the oversight of it. Adding to this he also said, “You can order something from Amazon sitting here. But if you are an Indian retailer with online operations, you cannot get foreign direct investment in order to expand your operations, which is not very sensible.”

This reaction came in after, the commerce ministry on Monday said that the government is not looking for any proposal for amendments in the current FDI policy for online retail neither it’s in under any considerations.

Montek also said, “But in the Indian firms which are doing online retail, if you can’t have foreign direct investment in order to expand your operations, it is not really sensible,”  adding to this he said “We need to look at many of those areas, lot more carefully than we are doing.”

Last year in September, government had allowed foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail but blocked foreign investments in e-commerce and allowed up to 51% FDI in multi-brand retail stores and 100% FDI in single-brand retail.

There have been numerous proposals given by different organizations like Assocham, Amazon, and The US India Business Council for changes in the current FDI policy in India in last few months.

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Last month in a letter to P Chidambaram USIBC asked for removal in the current restrictions in the Foreign Direct sales to consumers by e-commerce and also to allow foreign companies to acquire direct ownership in real estate for investment.

In February Amazon also sent its top brass to India to suggest for the policy change, so as to allow its entry in India. Amazon’s Global vice president Paul Misner also met Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma and discussed about policy relaxation in e-commerce.

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