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New govt must frame fresh policy on retail: Kishore Biyani

LiveMint logoLiveMint 20-05-2014 PTI

New Delhi: Future Group founder and chief executive Kishore Biyani on Tuesday asked the Narendra Modi-led government to frame a new retail policy under which segregations and foreign direct investment (FDI) restrictions are not based on single or multi-brand but on the basis of types of stores.

Stating that India’s regulations of the sector are out of sync with global practice, he said there is a need to redefine retail. “We have to redefine retail in India. Nowhere in the world there is single brand retail and multi-brand retail,” Biyani said.

When asked about FDI in the sector, he said: “We should simply classify stores such as convenient stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets and frame the policy accordingly. You allow or restrict foreign investments in which kind of stores you would like.”

The BJP, which has got mandate to form the next government, in its manifesto had said that it will keep FDI out of the key sector of multi-brand retail.

“Barring the multi-brand retail sector, FDI will be allowed in sectors wherever needed for job and asset creation, infrastructure and acquisition of niche technology and specialised expertise,” the party had said in its election manifesto.

The outgoing United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had relaxed FDI in retail by allowing 100% in single-brand retail and 51% FDI in multi-brand retail but with riders related to sourcing. 100% FDI is allowed in cash-and-carry business.

Future Retail, one of the largest retail chains in India, operates Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, Ezone and Hometown stores.

Biyani has been advocating liberalisation of retail regulations. In the past, Future Group has been linked with foreign retailers for partnerships.

Future Group has been restructuring the retail business for the past two years to cut debt and align its businesses. In November, the group sold its stake in apparel firms AND and Biba to private equity players.

The company also sold its majority stake in Pantaloons to Aditya Birla Nuvo. PTI

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