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Amazon gets government nod for proposed $500 million investment in food retail in India

Amazon to take on BigBasket with $500 million push in food e-tailing in India.

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Indian government has approved e-commerce major Amazon’s proposed $500 million investment in retailing of food products in India, an official said. The proposal was pending before the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) which has been abolished now.

Hence, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has given the green signal to the proposal.As per the proposal, Amazon will open a wholly-owned subsidiary in India to carry out the business. It will stock food products and sell online.

Currently, the government permits 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the food processing sector. As per norms, a foreign company can open a wholly-owned subsidiary in India to retail food products produced and or manufactured in the country by way of opening stores or online. ALSO READ: FDI in manufacturing sector up by 82% during April-November 2016: Nirmala Sitharaman

The Indian government had received investment proposals from three companies – Amazon, Grofers and Big Basket – worth $695 million for retail of food products. While US-based retail giant Amazon is one of the major e-commerce players in India, Grofers and Big Basket are into online grocery space. Amazon had proposed to invest around $500 million retail of food products. ALSO READ: Indian digital commerce market to touch $128 billion by 2017: Study

The government last year allowed 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) through approval route for trading, including through e-commerce, in respect of food products manufactured and produced in India. In 2016-17 (April-December), the food processing sector in the country received FDI of $663.23 million. The Union Cabinet last month decided to wind up the 25- year-old FIPB, which had been vetting FDI proposals requiring government approval, to expedite the clearance process. Under the new mechanism, proposals related to retail sector is being approved by the commerce and industry ministry.