November 11, 2008

Metro Cash & Carry to open outlet on Dec 4

KOLKATA,10 Nov: Metro Cash & Carry will be thrown open to the public on December 4. This German supply major outlet off the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass will be inaugurated the day before, possibly by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. Metro officials met ministers Naren De and Mortaza Hossain among others on Monday.
The outlet will be the company’s fifth outlet in the country after Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Metro’s special focus would be hotels, restaurants, traders and kirana stores. The opening of the outlet is a major development as the Forward Bloc-controlled agricultural marketing board had refused to issue a fresh licence to the wholesale outlet a few months ago. Later, it agreed to give the nod after placing certain conditions. CPI(M) and Forward Bloc were locked in a major tussle over the issue. Finally, the marketing board and the Bloc agreed to issue a fresh licence and a memorandum of understanding was signed between the company and the state government on October 10.
Metro will do business with only those 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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