Kerala to tax corporate retailers

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In an apparent move to discourage corporate retailers from opening more outlets in Kerala, the state government, in its annual budget on Thursday, said it will slap a 10 per cent surcharge on the profits made by them.

“We have shown a red light by imposing a surcharge tax on the net profits of big retail companies,” state food minister C Diwakaran told the state assembly.

The announcement, according to industry analysts, came after a demonstration against ‘big retail’ that was staged last month by thousands of small retailers in Thrissur.

A host of major Indian companies including Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Spencer’s Retail have been forced to scale back their plans for more retail openings because of the protests. Bharti Retail, in tie-ups with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is also seeking to open a chain of stores in Kerala, but have met opposition from small store owners.

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