FDI in multi-brand retail

After much soul-searching, Karnataka on Wednesday joined 11 other states and Union Territories who have agreed to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail ventures in the State.

“Karnataka has also favoured the policy,” Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary Saurabh Chandra said on Wednesday.

The state government’s move is expected to pave the way for several multinational corporations to set up shop in the state which will directly spur infusion of fresh capex and high-end technological innovations not only to benefit domestic players but also create a good experience for the consumers.It was not clear whether the chief minister had set any conditions to allow FDI in Karnataka. 

Welcoming the state’s stand, BCIC President Lakshminarayan said this would not only induce a surge of retail activities in the state, but also boost employment which will ultimately benefit the consumers and bolster the state’s economic growth.

The change in Karnataka’s stand on allowing FDI in multi-brand retail is said to be the fallout of the recent change of government. The previous BJP-led government was against implementing FDI in multi-brand retail in the state, with the BJP criticising the policy on the grounds that it would destroy the livelihood of millions of retailers.

The government had permitted up to 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail last year. Earlier this month, Himachal Pradesh opened doors to 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail. Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Manipur are among the states that have decided to implement the decision. 



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