The UPA II tried to relax norms for the retail industry by allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and 100 per cent in single brand retail. But that was a wet fuse. Stringent restrictions played their role while the rest came from opposition from the States.
Need for a consistent policy on FDI in retail with a clear roadmap is the key for the next government.
FDI in retail will help India solve the lack of modern supply chain infrastructure. The Food Corporation of India has been unsuccessful in reducing price inflation of food items or eliminate deterioration and wastages. Large foreign investors like Walmart, Tesco and Carrefour can step in here. If FDI is kept away, local retailers would continue to benefit.