India is due to announce details of the proposal to open up the retail market to global supermarket chains. Federal Trade Minister Anand Sharma is expected to make a statement in the parliament. On Thursday, the government agreed to 51% foreign ownership of multi-brand retail stores, allowing groups like Wal-Mart and Tesco to open stores. Such operators currently can only sell wholesale in India and not directly to customers. A decision on the issue has been pending for two years. The cabinet decided to raise the cap on foreign investment in single-brand retailing - such as Apple or Reebok - to 100%, from its current 51%. Supporters of the move say it will increase competition and quality while reducing prices, which have been hit by close to double-digit inflation. Opponents say the multi-nationals will squeeze out India\'s smaller and poorer traders and drive down prices paid to India\'s farmers. One cabinet ally of the ruling Congress party, Dinesh Trivedi of the Trinamool Congress, said his party was \"completely opposed to it\". The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party is also opposed to the proposal and there have been street protests by traders. But Gibson Vedamani, a board member of the Retailers\' Association of India, told Agence France-Presse: \"If this proposal gets through, consumers will have many more choices - it will truly be a borderless world in terms of products available.\" The multi-nationals have long been eyeing the lucrative Indian market.Raj Jain, chief executive of Wal-Mart\'s Indian operations, said the government\'s proposal had contributed towards India\'s image as a \"welcoming destination for international businesses\".But he said he needed to study the \"finer details of the new policy before commenting further\".Any easing of regulations could eventually come with strict controls, for example on local sourcing and levels of investment.