The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industry has recommended the creation of a ‘Retail Regulatory Authority’ to not only monitor the entry of foreign chains through foreign direct investment (FDI) but to also study the impact of FDI on medium, small and micro enterprises (MSME).

Addressing reporters here, Chairman of the committee Triuchi Siva said the committee had recommended a regulatory authority to look into the impact of FDI in multi-brand retail on MSMEs.

The committee, he said, was of the view that if multi-brand retail chains were not regulated well, it would adversely impact MSMEs, farmers and domestic markets. “Once the agriculture produce markets are eliminated, the big foreign retail giants will manipulate prices and our farmers will be forced to sell their products at low prices dictated by foreign retailers. Our own squeezed out retailers would lose their livelihood ,” he said. The committee was also of the view that the 30 per cent procurement requirement should be applicable item-wise, he said.

The panel suggested the MSME ministry should commission a survey to assess the benefit and losses of previous FDI policies on the MSME sector, and to ascertain if they had created any back-end infrastructure as was being envisaged in the current FDI policy.

“We concur with the committee on commerce that there is a need for a retail regulatory authority to act as a whistle-blower in case of anti-competitive behaviour and abuse of dominance,” the committee said in its report.