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India eases sourcing, investment rules for foreign supermarkets

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India eased investment rules for the retail sector on Thursday, allowing foreign supermarket operators to procure from small businesses which have invested no more than the equivalent of $2 million in plant and machinery, Trade Minister Anand Sharma told reporters.

Global supermarket chains like Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Tesco will also be allowed to invest 50 percent of an "initial" mandatory investment of $100 million in setting up cold storages and warehouses in the country, Sharma said.

India, which threw open its supermarket sector to foreign retailers in September 2012, has not yet received a single application due to ambiguity around existing entry rules.

(Reporting by Nigam Prusty and CK Nayak; editing by Patrick Graham)

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