Monday, November 19, 2012

IKEA proposal approved by Commerce Ministry: Anand Sharma

ON BOARD PM'S SPECIAL PLANE, November 19, 2012 (PTI)

Swedish furniture major IKEA, which proposes to invest Rs 10,500 crore to set up stores in India, has got Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion nod and its application is now with Foreign Investment Promotion Board, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said on Sunday.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which is under the Commerce and Industry Ministry, has scrutinised the application of IKEA that wants to set up over 25 single-brand retail stores in the country over a period of time.

Specifically referring to IKEA's proposal, Mr. Sharma said, it has been "approved by us, now it is with the FIPB."

It will meet the parameters of the policy and all the conditionalities, he said while talking to journalists en route to Phnom Penh along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The FIPB, which will meet on November 20, would take up the IKEA's application.

After FIPB's clearance, the proposal will have to be finally approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) as the board can clear investment applications worth up to Rs 1,200 crore only.

Sharma said: "In-single brand retail, major proposals have been cleared. The last FIPB had cleared three major proposals".

These included that of British footwear retailer Pavers England Ltd to open fully-owned stores, a 51 per cent joint venture of American luxury clothing retailer Brooks Brothers and Italian jewellery maker Damiani's plan to form a venture with Mehta's Pvt Ltd.

On allegations of corruption involving Walmart, Mr. Sharma said, "allegations are allegations. In a rule-based and rule-governed country, if there is any violation there are agencies who are there to look into it."

The IKEA Group, which manufactures and sells home and office furnishing products, proposes to invest in single-brand retail trading in India through a 100 per cent subsidiary.

This would be the largest investment in the single-brand retailing ever since the government has allowed foreign investment in this sector in January.

With the government relaxing the mandatory 30 per cent sourcing clause in September, IKEA which had earlier expressed concerns over the issues had filled its final application earlier this month.
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