E-commerce companies Amazon, Grofers and Big Basket have submitted proposals worth US$ 695 million to the government, seeking permission for retailing of food products under the new FDI policy regime. “Three companies Super Market Groceries Supplies (Big Basket), Grofers India and Amazon Corporate Holdings have submitted their proposals for seeking permission to make investment of US$ 695 million over a period of time,” the food processing ministry said in a statement. Last year, the government had permitted 100 per cent FDI for the marketing, including through e-commerce, of food products manufactured in India.
Food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said Amazon has submitted a proposal to invest about US$ 500 million in the e-retail of food. The minister added that Amazon is keen on food retailing through online portal as well as brick-and-mortar outlets. Even Grofers and Big Baske want to Invest in retail trading of food products, while Metro Cash & Carry has also evinced interest in food retailing.
The government is likely to take a decision soon whether to allow non-food items in the FDI policy, amid demand from foreign retailers that sale of home and personal care products should also be allowed to increase footfalls in the supermarket. Badal said that India’s e-retail market is growing at a brisk pace and could grow three times by 2020.
“We are excited about the opening of FDI in food retailing. We have submitted an application for approvals,” Avinash Ramachandra, director – public policy, Amazon.
The country’s food processing sector witnessed FDI inflows (in equity) worth US$ 663.23 million in the first three quarters of this fiscal, a jump from a year earlier.