New BJP Government Might Scrap FDI in Multi Brand Retail


New BJP Government Might Scrap FDI in Multi Brand Retail

Among the few things that the UPA government managed to get done in its last term was to allow 51% FDI in multi brand retail. The new government wants it reversed.

The new government at the center is against Foreign Direct Investment in Multi-brand retail. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Industries minister appointed by the BJP said on Tuesday that the party is not in favor of opening up FDI in retail.

Sitharaman said

At this stage the party position is very very clear. We have explained about FDI in multi-brand retail (MBR) that it probably is not best opened up now because medium and small sized traders or small farmers have not been adequately empowered… if you open up the floodgates of FDI in MBR, it may affect them. (via)

She however said that the FDI policy by the previous government will be looked at in a “calibrated way,” and that improving exports will be a priority for the government. The BJP, which has an absolute majority in the parliament, has been against FDI in multi brand retail from the start.


The UPA government had approved 51% FDI in multi brand retail in its term, opening up the country’s retail sector for large MNCS like Tesco and Wal-Mart. But there were concerns from the opposition that it will destroy India’s small and medium businesses and lakhs of kirana stores.

From this whitepaper (pdf) published by te BJP, it appears that the BJP is staunchly against FDI in multi brand retail and it is possible that the party will reverse the Congress party led UPA government’s policy.

While BJP ruled state Rajasthan had earlier banned FDI in retail, companies like Amazon have been lobbying in the US for FDI in retail in India.

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