New Delhi: The government on Friday asserted that opening up of multi-brand retail for foreign players will create over 10 million jobs in the next three, brushing aside all criticism including from key UPA ally Trinamool Congress.
    
"My initial estimates are that it will create over 4 million jobs in the country and in logistics about 5-6 million jobs in three years," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told reporters here.
    
The guidelines regarding the decision to allow 51 percent FDI in the multi-brand retail will be issued by next week, the minister said adding "I expect billions of dollars of FDI will come in the sector".
    
He also said that the steps taken by the government will help Indian farmers "immensely" and would also help in creating jobs in sectors like agro and food processing and bring FDI to build infrastructure.
    
He, however, said that all proposals relating to multi-brand retail would be cleared by by Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and the retailers would have to take license from the respective state governments to set up the stores.
    
The decision has been criticised by the entire opposition which was also joined by UPA ally Trinamool Congress on the issue.

The government's decision would pave way for global retail giants like Wal-Mart, Tesco and Carrefour to set up stores in the country.
    
Sharma said that the government will have the first right to procure agricultural products.
    
Citing examples of countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia where 100 percent FDI is allowed in the sector, he said that the move would not impact small and marginal retailers in the country.     

The government has also increased FDI cap in the single brand retail to 100 percent from the current 51 percent.     

"Single brand product retailing would cover only products which are branded during manufacturing," he said adding the foreign investor should be the owner of the brand.
    
"In respect of proposals involving FDI beyond 51 percent, 30 percent sourcing would mandatorily have to be done from SMEs/village and cottage industries artisans and craftsman," Sharma said.
    
This condition would benefit Indian SMEs especially in sectors like textiles, gems and jewellery, leather and jute, he said.

Agencies