Global Supermarkets to Enter India

By on November 24th, 2011 57 Comments

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Global supermarkets will set up camp in India (Photo: Financial Times)

Global supermarkets will set up camp in India (Photo: Financial Times)

After two years of uncertainty, India’s Food Minister KV Thomas announced global supermarkets will be coming to his country. The move will allow retail giants like Wal-Mart and Tesco to open stores where previously they could only sell goods wholesale to local markets.

In a struggling economy suffering from high inflation, the cabinet’s decision faces scrutiny despite support from some sectors. Concerns about the fate of India’s poor, rural farmers beneath behemoth companies that have already changed the face of agriculture in America spur opponents’ arguments. On the other hand, the supermarkets’ introduction may hasten an improvement in quality and encourage more competitive prices.

The question of choice offered by giant corporations versus supporting local farmers is not a new one. In fact, India approved this change even as people squabble over the same debate in Wal-Mart’s home country. While the rise of corporations transformed American business practices, its effect on India’s economy may be that much greater. However, we may not get to see those effects for quite a while. Some opponents intend to stall the passage of this proposal, meaning Indians may have to rely on current retail systems for the time being.

Tell us what you think: Would India benefit from introducing global supermarkets into its economy?

[BBC News]

Amina Elahi is Divanee.com’s Managing Editor. Check out her blog.