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Metro Cash & Carry to invest Rs 900 cr in Punjab

BS Reporter  |  Kolkata 

Metro Cash & Carry, the German wholesale retailer, today said that it plans to invest Rs 900 crore in Punjab to set up six distribution centers.

“We have plans to enter Punjab now,” said Martin Dlouhy, managing director of Metro Cash & Carry, India, without mentioning a time frame. Metro opened its fifth outlet in the country today in Kolkata, after Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Metro’s special focus would be hotels, restaurants, traders and kirana stores.

Metro, which has more than 600 centres in 29 countries, has centres in Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

"We are planning to invest in more stores in these areas. We will follow the same business to business model, but stores may vary in sizes," Dlouhy said.

Last year, the retail giant has procured products worth euro 60 million from different states of India.

The opening of Metro’s first outlet in Kolkata today is a major development as the Forward Bloc-controlled agricultural marketing board had refused to issue a fresh licence to the wholesale major a few months ago. Later, it agreed to give the nod after placing certain conditions. Metro will sell products to only those traders who have APMC licences.

Though it can purchase from private markets or regulatory marketing committees, it has to pay one per cent market fee while selling the produce. Other conditions include a bar on contract farming with farmers and only following the business-to-business model with traders. Also, in case of a legal dispute, it must be sorted out in a court of law within the state.

The German wholesale major has already trained 350 persons to work in its outlet. According to its officials, the wholesale centres are open exclusively for business customers, all of them duly registered and provided with customer identification cards.

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First Published: Wed, December 03 2008. 20:25 IST