Retailigence

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Metro cannot enter retail biz, contract farming: WB govt

Posted by retailigence on October 4, 2008

KOLKATA: Ruling party CPI-M and its ally Forward Bloc on Friday worked out the details of licence to be given to German wholesale giant Metro Cash and Carry at a bipartite meeting here.

It is stipulated that the company would not be allowed to enter retail business and contract farming ‘in the interest of the small traders and farmers’. “Under no circumstances the company would be allowed to enter into retail business and contract farming,” Forward Bloc state general secretary Ashok Ghosh said after his meeting with CPI(M) leaders including Left Front Chairman Biman Bose and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee.

He said as part of the checks and balances of the licence giving process to the company some safeguards were worked out at the meeting. As part of the safeguards for the small traders ‘no single item of the company worth less than Rs 5,000 can be purchased from it’, he added.

Ghose said that henceforth all legal disputes, if any, regarding the company’s business would be resolved in Kolkata instead of Bangalore. There was no word from the CPI-M leaders after the meeting. The Forward Bloc-run State Agricultural Marketing Board will issue the licence to the company.

The Board had earlier refused to give licence to the company and had threatened to pull out its ministers from the government. The matter was put to rest after a Left Front meeting which approved conditional renewal of licence to Metro from October 10.

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