India's parliament permits foreign retailers entry
NEW DELHI (AP) - India's parliament on Friday approved the government's plans to open up the country's massive retail sector to international big-box companies such as Wal-Mart.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's beleaguered government won the vote in the upper house of parliament on Friday, two days after it had won a similar approval in the powerful lower house.
A loss would have been a major embarrassment for the government, but would not have stopped the measure from being implemented after the Cabinet in September decided to allow foreign companies to own 51 percent stakes in supermarkets and other big retailers for the first time.
However, individual states will be able decide whether to let the retailers operate in their territory. So far, 10 states have said they will not allow big-box retailers in.