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India agrees to allow foreign retailers

  • The Indian government agreed on Friday to open up the country’s lucrative retail sector to global supermarket chains.

    Last year, the government suspended a similar plan following opposition from its allies and political rivals.

    International firms such as Walmart and Tesco will now be able to buy up to a 51 percent stake in multi-brand retailers.

    The move comes in a bid to boost the country’s waning economy.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: "I believe that these steps will help strengthen our growth process and generate employment in these difficult times."

    The decision was one of several reforms announced by the government, including plans enabling foreign airlines to buy a 49 percent stake in local carriers.