Indian government wins foreign retail vote

  • The Indian government has recorded a crucial victory in parliament on its plans to open up its lucrative retail sector to foreign competition.

    After a two-day heated debate, MPs on Wednesday in the lower house approved the plan to allow foreign investment of up to 51 percent in multi-brand retail.

    Parliament, which has been embroiled in a stalemate over the issue, resumed business this week after the government agreed to the vote.

    253 MPs voted in favor of opening up the retail sector while 218 MPs voted against it.

    The victory will help the government push ahead with further reforms aimed to boost the country’s waning economy.

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

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