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NEW DELHI: Foreign handset makers expect the budget announcement on easing local sourcing requirements for single-brand retail to encourage investments in India, but they want the government to make the changes meaningful and implement the proposal quickly.

“It is a welcome reform, but the real impact can be gauged only after the exact details of the sourcing norms are announced,” said Vikas Agarwal, head of India operations, OnePlus.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman did not announce details of the proposal in her budget on Friday. Current regulations require foreign-owned single-brand retailers to locally source 30% of the value of items sold in India. This rule has been cited as an impediment for investment by several foreign retailers. Single-brand retail is a “necessity” as the local retail ecosystem is yet to mature to global standards, Agarwal said, adding: “Given the ambitious goal of (India to become a) $5 trillion economy, we hope the execution will be swift and meaningful this year, without any further delay.”

Single-brand retail is critical for marquee brands wanting to set up stores in a market like India, since investments for such retail activities come from the brands themselves, and not local

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