India’s minister for food processing industries has asked the prime minister to allow 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail of food products, saying the move would benefit both farmers and consumers.
Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said in a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi that there was a need for a relook at the country’s policy in multi-brand retailing in food processing, according to media reports.
FDI in multi-brand retail is a tricky policy issue for the current government, which is opposed to raising the investment limit beyond the current 51 percent as the sector dominated by mom-and-pop shops employ millions of people.
Badal said permitting 100 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail of food products produced and manufactured in India would give a boost to the sector, and also help develop the cold chains and other infrastructure needed to the food processing industry.
The move would benefit farmers with increased price realisation, reduction in wastages, job creation, besides acting as an incentive for global players in the sector to start operations in India, she wrote.