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51% FDI in multi-brand retail here to stay: SC

The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed petitioner ML Sharma’s public interest litigation that had challenged the government’s decision to allow 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

The bench, comprised of justices RM Lodha, Madan B Lokur, and Kurien Joseph, said that while there are enough examples of countries where small unorganised retailers have continued to co-exist with organised multinational retailers even after implementation of FDI, the risk is lower in India where the policy would be tried on only 13.3 per cent of the population.

The bench also said: “The middlemen are a curse to the country. They work like Shylocks and suckers. If they are sought to be thrown out of the system, what is wrong with the policy.” The SC said it would not interfere with a policy unless it is arbitrary, unconstitutional, contrary to statute, irrational, or an abuse of power [TOI/ET]

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