The Walmart Asia’s President and CEO Scott Price’s meeting with DIPP officials on September 19 made it clear that they want the retail giant to invest in India before the general elections get announced.
Amidst reports of world’s biggest retail company, Walmart, re-thinking its India plans, the company’s Asia CEO Scott Price today met senior officials of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to seek clarity on the FDI policy on multi brand retail.
In his second visit in less than a month to Udyog Bhawan, the message that he got from the DIPP was — submit your proposal to FIPB as soon as possible, preferably before the general elections are announced… because once approved, Walmart’s investments will be secure.
DIPP’s argument is that even in a worst case scenario of the parliament rescinding the FEMA notification on multi-brand retail FDI, Walmart’s investments will be safe. Any policy change that might happen, will only be prospective in nature. If it happens, Walmart could benefit as it would become the only foreign investor in the Indian retail sector.
On his part, Price wanted more clarity on the 30 percent mandatory sourcing from SMEs and its modalities and channels.
Walmart is keen on ensuring that it does not violate any laws. The company is already under Enforcement Directorate (ED) scanner for alleged violation of FDI rules.
The company told CNBC-TV18, “We continue to study the implications of the current FDI policy on our business and appreciate the Government’s willingness to consider our requests to provide clarity on the conditions contained in the policy.”
It is fairly clear that till it is satisfied with the FDI policy clarifications, the giant of Bentoville may not move ahead with its massive investment proposal in India.