Corporate retailers expressed surprise and disappointment over FDI in multi-brands retail being put on hold. Officially, retailers of all hues - both foreign and Indian - told HT that they would like to wait for a formal decision to come from the government. But several senior executives, speaking strictly on conditions of anonymity, said it would stall their business plans as funds that could have come in the form of foreign direct investment would now be unavailable.
"It will be disappointing. If at all this happens it will indeed be a regretful decision. It would mean that a major source of funds will dry up for the corporate retailers," said CII's National Council for Retail chairman Thomas Varghese.
Varghese is also the chief executive of Aditya Birla Retail. He clarified that Aditya Birla Retail was not in need of funds but many other retailers who were banking on FDI could be left in the lurch.
Senior executives of German retail chain METRO and British retailer Tesco too expressed surprise at the possibility of a rollback. "It will indeed be unfortunate," the executive at METRO said.
"We had begun informal discussions about our future business plans in India. I will be disappointed if there is a rollback in the decision," said a senior Tesco executive.
Raj Jain, president Walmart India said he would wait for the formal announcement.
"The decision is within the realms of government and it will be not right on my part to say anything at the moment."
French retail giant Carrefour was unavailable for comments. Future Group' s Kishore Biyani said he could comment only after a formal decision is announced.