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Indian cabinet opens retail to foreign supermarkets

Published on Sep 14, 2012 9:37 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India on Friday gave the green light for foreign supermarket giants such as Wal-Mart and Tesco to enter the country as part of a blitz of economic reforms announced by the government.

The foreign groups will be able to buy stakes of up to 51 per cent in multi-brand retailers, allowing them into a previously protected but potentially hugely lucrative sector, Information Minister Ambika Soni said.

Reports also said that rules governing foreign investment in the aviation sector had been relaxed and the cabinet had also approved the sale of stakes in four state-owned companies.

The moves follow a bold 12 per cent hike in the price of heavily-subsidised diesel on Thursday night, which some analysts saw as the government signalling its intent to reinvigorate its long-stalled reform agenda.

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