Government to seek public opinion on national retail policy soon

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New Delhi: A national retail policy that covers several areas such as ease of doing business, streamlining retail compliances under one umbrella is in the works and will soon be shared for public consultation, a senior said. government official.

Speaking at the Retailers Association of India (RAI) Retail India Summit & Expo (RISE) 2021 event on Wednesday, Anil Agarwal, Additional Secretary, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce, said the Center has created many policies models to guide state governments and a model framework is being created to facilitate interstate commerce, it is important to have a national retail policy. This will soon be shared for public comment, he said.

“In the policy, we will address several areas such as the ease of doing business by simplifying licensing and related processes. The proposed policy will also examine how retail compliance can be streamlined under a single framework law. The inclusion of retail and wholesale trade as part of MSMEs has been a huge victory for the sector as it has opened doors for bank lending under priority sector programs. However, retail policy will also address finding unconventional ways for the sector to obtain cheaper financing options, ”he added.

The policy work has been going on for some time now.

Traders are fighting for a national retail trade policy that will frame and mobilize the sector, 80 to 85% of which is still largely disorganized. The sector employs 50 million people. Retailing in India is governed by many laws including the Stores and Establishments Act, Competition Act, Consumer Protection Act, Essential Products Act, and Legal Metrology Act. , he stressed.

In many cases, retailers must obtain 16-25 licenses to open a store. The large number of laws, compounded by variations in implementation at the state level, create immense complexity for retailers, especially those with a pan-Indian footprint, according to a 2020 report by industry body CII and from the consulting firm Kearney.

Agarwal said the government has made efforts to reduce the costs of logistics and movement of goods, which will continue to rise. “The focus will be on the development of entertainment areas and also on specialist short-term skills development courses in vernacular languages ​​to bridge the skilled workforce gap in retail,” he said. he declared.

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