India foreign retail plan sparks row
New Delhi, November 29, 2011
India's government appeared to be backtracking on a move to allow foreign supermarket giants such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour enter Asia's third-largest economy, as political opposition grew over one of the most far-reaching economic reforms in years.
Chief ministers of several government-allied states and some ruling Congress party MPs are pressing the government to reverse the decision, announced last week.
Parliament was adjourned for a fifth day amid uproar, and the Press Trust of India said Congress party head Sonia Gandhi discussed how to end a stand-off which threatens key bills. The government, with a majority of 18 seats, may call a meeting of main parties today.
The government said foreign retailers would have to source 30 per cent of their goods from small Indian industries, after previously saying the purchases could come from any small industries globally.
The uproar could force a vote on the reform that would allow supermarkets up to a 51 per cent stake in retail ventures.