No more sops on sourcing norms in retail: Anand Sharma
New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Saturday ruled out more concessions on sourcing norms in the policy on retail, saying it will take time to bear fruit and that foreign companies will invest in multi-brand retail. "In single-brand retail also, it took almost a year for actual investments to come. We are confident that multi-brand will also bring in foreign players," Sharma told reporters while returning from Brunei and Indonesia as part of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's delegation. "In the coming months, things will keep rolling on," he said.
Asked if the government would make additional concessions to attract foreign investors in multi-brand retail, he said: "Any policy needs to be given some time to fructify into investments." He refused to comment on WalMart-Bharti Enterprises nixing their six-year-old partnership earlier this month. "While it is for WalMart to comment on its partnership issues, the impression I have got is they want to remain invested in India," Sharma said. "They have committed to invest in back-end retail business on their own, while for front-end retail, they will look for another partner," he said.
On sourcing norms, the minister said any policy cannot be company-specific and the government had to protect the interest of the small and medium enterprises sector. Sharma also said the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, which was opposing the retail policy, was pursuing a partisan agenda at the cost of the Indian economy.