Multi brand FDI has finally been allowed in India, after much discussion and debate in parliament. The cabinet said OK for 51% FDI in multi-brand retail sector & 100% FDI in single brand.
Indian retail is now officially open for business to the Walmarts of the world. Is this move going to benefit the local farmer? Or is it going to drive him out of business? Too early to tell is our sense. The massive companies are certainly going to source locally and encourage local populations to get involved in their supply chains, but are the farmers going to be able to maintain the quality of produce? Or do things go the way they have in America - mass-produced products with little or no regard to the final taste.
We are certainly very excited by the development, but the impact is going to become visible over time.
Lalu Yadav made this comment, that we really enjoyed, as part of the debate in parliament.
BJP wanted FDI in 2002. How have you changed your stand - you supported 100% FDI in retail in 2004 and now Joshiji says - videshi, videshi. How much does your watch cost? I have no watch, I have no cell phone; they have theirs close to their hearts and when a phone call comes, you'd see them run a 100-metre dash.