The Indian Prime Minister's Office has signalled its intention to investigate the proposed tie-up between Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart in anticipation that the issue will arise in Parliament.

The planned deal has met with opposition from the left and from Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's own coalition allies, who do not want to give multinational companies access to India's retail sector.

According to Indian reports, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has approved the deal. "Based on the position conveyed by Bharti Enterprises, the proposed joint venture with Wal-Mart appears to be for setting up distribution centres, cold and ambient warehousing and transportation of various products including fruit, vegetables, dairy and other perishables... Wal-Mart would be a supplier to Bharti's retail venture and other smaller retail outlets, which is in accordance with the policy for FDI in wholesale cash and carry, business-to-business trading and storage and warehousing services," the department wrote in a letter to the PMO.

Bharti has said that Wal-Mart will provide it with technology, logistics knowledge, supply chain management, information on cold chains ad contact with supplier and producer communities.