NEW DELHI, Sept 14 (Reuters) - India will act “soon” to open its retail sector to foreign supermarkets, a major economic reform that has been stalled for months by political gridlock in New Delhi, trade minister Anand Sharma told Reuters on Friday.
Asked whether the cabinet would discuss the issue at a meeting on Friday night, Sharma said: “Wait until evening.”
Pressed again on whether an announcement could be made on Friday, he said: “Let’s hope for the best.”
Indian retail stocks surged on market speculation that the government might finally allow foreign investment in the country’s multi-brand retail sector.
The move would allow global firms such as Wal-Mart Stores to set up shop with a local partner and sell directly to consumers for the first time, a move which supporters say could transform India’s $450 billion retail market and tame inflation.