Popular Media is in full force discussing the pros and cons of opening up FDI in multi-brand Retail, announced by the Manmohan Singh led Union Government of India on 14 Sep. 2012. Finally, it happened. Rather, it had to. On 9 Jan 2012, the same Government allowed 100% FDI in Single Brand Retail, acting as a precursor and paving the way for the current policy decision. The UPA Alliance which leads a multi-party coalition Government has finally had the spine to push this through, alienating some of its own partners putting its Government in jeopardy. With the current policy in place, it means that multi-national Retailers such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Tesco and their likes can invest in India on their own as well as in Joint Ventures with Indian partners or Business Houses. But, there is a catch. FDI in Retail has been made a State Subject which means that each State has to provide an approval for each partnership that is proposed and to be allowed to be operated within its precincts.
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5 th and 6 th July 2010 would remain etched in the history of Indian Retail for some time to come. While the country witnessed an unprecedented (sic) response to a nation-wide Bandh (shutdown) called by the opposition parties against the recent Fuel price hike (after the Government deregulated Fuel prices) and to show their solidarity against rising levels of inflation on Monday, leading to estimated losses over USD 3 Billion, Tuesday was a green letter day for Organized Retailers. The Government of India (GoI) announced a discussion paper to debate on allowing FDI in multi-brand retail leading to mixed reactions across the country and outside. Everyone who was anyone in the Retail realm in the country had comments to make. Rightly so, as this public debate was much needed; while the fundamentalists have always argued against the entry of foreign multinationals in Retail, those in the business have usually welcomed the idea, although with caution. One of the biggest criticisms again