Last week, the policy making machinery within the Government took the farthest steps so far towards permitting FDI in multi-brand retail. Reports indicate (here, here and here) that majority foreign ownership (up to 51%) will be allowed, although this is likely to be accompanied by a number of conditions including minimum foreign investment (said to be $100 million). Although further procedures (including assent from the Cabinet) are required before this can become law, it represents clarity in regulatory thought following the discussion paper issued by the DIPP last year.
Umakanth Varottil is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. He specializes in corporate law and governance, mergers and acquisitions and cross-border investments. Prior to his foray into academia, Umakanth was a partner at a pre-eminent law firm in India.