"FDI in multi-brand retail no, no," she said when asked to clarify the government's position on FDI in multi-brand retail trading. However, as per the current policy 51 percent FDI is permitted in the multi-brand retail sector.

Sitharaman also said that she held consultation with different stakeholders including industry and associations on FDI in the e-commerce sector.
    
Next month, the ministry will meet representatives of the state government's on the issue, she said. "E-commerce is a very technology driven. It has a very big play and lot of dynamism (is there) in the market.
    
"So I am spending quite sometime on it. Sooner we will come up with something to state our position much clearer," the minister said. She added that FDI in e-commerce should not become a backdoor entry for multi-brand retail.

The statement assumes significance as a tussle is going on between online and offline retailers.
At present, 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) is allowed only in business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce and not in the retail segment.
    
Traders body CAIT had called for a probe in the business model and trade practices of e-commerce companies to find out how they are offering huge discounts. Replying to a question on MSME, she said the government is talking with commercial banks to ensure that affordable credit is given to the sector.
    
"We are working with the banks and talking with the RBI to see if small and medium enterprises can be a given a different kind of approach when you are dealing with the credit and banking requirements," she added.

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