Backing FDI in multi-brand retail, FICCI president RV Kanoria today said about Rs 640 billion is required to build a strong backend infrastructure like cold storages to reduce wastage in agriculture items.
Kanoria was speaking at an interactive meeting here on the issue of concerns of retail stakeholders like small kirana stores, farmers and consumers.
Lack of adequate storage facilities causes heavy losses to farmers in terms of wastages in quality and quantity of produce in general and of fruits and vegetables in particular, Kanoria said, adding it also leads to high rate of inflation.
''Huge investment of almost Rs 640 billion is required to build a strong backend infrastructure in India. Thus, FDI in retail would help in addressing this issue with compulsory investment of 50% in backend,'' he said in a statement.
He also said investments in the retail sector will see gainful employment opportunities in processing, sorting, marketing and logistic management due to the decision.
According to estimates, about 4 million jobs will be created in the front-end alone in the next five years.
Speaking on the occasion, Raghav Gupta, principal, Booz & Co. said FDI in retail can potentially add 1.5 million jobs by 2016.
FICCI Secretary General Didar Singh said India's retail sector is expected to see significant growth in coming years.
''Within this, organised retail is expected to grow rapidly, further accelerated by the recent opening up of FDI. At the same time, unorganised sector will also see a reasonable growth,'' Singh said.