Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, on Thursday, expressed the hope that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) would clear the Swedish furniture major IKEA’s proposal to set up cafeterias at its single-brand retail outlets that it proposes to open in India as part of its plans to enter the multi-brand retail segment.

“We have cleared it. I have no reason to doubt because there were certain clarifications which were required. We are satisfied, and accordingly, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has conveyed the same and forwarded it with its recommendations for final approval,” Mr. Sharma said while talking to reporters after inaugurating FICCI-organised Technotex 2013 here.

The FIPB meeting, which was scheduled for January 18, has now been scheduled for January 21. The proposal of Ingka Holding Overseas BV, IKEA’s parent company, was withdrawn from the agenda of the board’s meeting held on December 31 as the government had sought more information from the Swedish furniture major about its India investment plans. The FIPB had already approved Rs.4,200 crore out of a total of Rs.10,500 crore investment proposal by IKEA to open single-brand retail stores in India with only some categories of products allowed to be sold from a total of 33 that the company had applied for.

Following the part approval, the company made a representation to the Industry Department, which forwarded the request to FIPB seeking review of its November 20 decision. The issue was listed on the agenda of the last meeting of FIPB held on December 31.

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