Reliance Industries, India's biggest private company, has threatened to stop the rollout of its £3bn supermarket chain in the north and east of the country after growing protests from small traders. The Guardian

The announcement came after officials in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, closed 10 Reliance Fresh supermarkets in the face of protests.

At the moment, large companies account for only 5% of India's £180bn retail market.

Many state governments are unwilling to support western-style supermarkets, fearing a backlash from small shopkeepers, who make up the majority of Indian retail and who say they will lose their jobs if large companies end up controlling business.

The Indian retail market is forecast to expand more than 55% in the next four years. In addition to Reliance’s £3bn nationwide grocery chain, India's Aditya Birla Group says it will invest £1bn to launch a chain of supermarkets and hypermarkets.

US retailer Wal-Mart plans a wholesale operation in the country and agreed a $1.6bn (£800m) franchise deal with Bharti Enterprises a year ago.

Tesco and Marks & Spencer have also expressed interest in opening stores in India.