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Plastic bags, FDI, Vision 2025

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on July 29, 2011

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From plastic bags to FDI to GST, there is a lot on retailers' minds. Retail bigwigs met in Mumbai on Wednesday to discuss the agenda for India Retail Forum, scheduled for September.

While the Retailers Association of India started the pilot in Mumbai, charging for plastic bags from July 1, they are keen to figure out modalities of a national roll-out.

“Plastic bags are an important issue facing the industry. In Mumbai, we have come together to find a workable solution, but through IRF, we should extend this action to all other cities,” said Mr Thomas Varghese, Chief Executive, Aditya Birla Retail.

On allowance of 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, there was a view that with the mandatory 50 per cent investment in backend infrastructure and minimum investment of $100 million, only a handful of international players could afford to come in.

“While FDI in retail is welcome, we should go about it in a phased manner, as was done with telecom. We should also make sure that when foreign investment comes in, we have safeguards like an effective takeover code in place. It is really not a level-playing field, as our interest rates are in double digits, while internationally interest rates are in the low single digits,” noted Mr Nikhil Chaturvedi, MD, Provogue.

“Though this FDI policy will affect only a handful of people, it is certainly a macro-level subject, and there is mass curiosity about the subject,” concurred Bijou Kurien, President, and Chief Executive - Lifestyle, Reliance Retail.

Mr Kishore Biyani, CEO, Future Group, urged his retail counterparts to make a visioning exercise for 2025 as part of the forum's agenda.

“GST is going to make a huge difference to the retail sector and the whole economy. We should take the lead in analysing this in depth, and advising retailers about the impact,” said Mr Himanshu Chakrawarti, CEO, The Mobile Store.

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Published on July 29, 2011
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