Open and shut

The government might have supported FDI in retail to make a political point, to send a signal to investors, or to bring in foreign capital and prevent rupee depreciation. But whatever the reasons, this move takes India a step closer to increasing competition and achieving higher productivity in non-tradable services. With 51 per cent, rather than 100 per cent, FDI being allowed in multi-brand retail, large Indian companies that are either already in the business or have planned to enter it, are likely beneficiaries. Chances are, in twenty years it will be Indian companies running retail stores in towns and cities all over the world.

The writer, professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, Delhi, is consulting editor for 'The Indian Express'

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