As the country battles the coronavirus pandemic with the emergence of new COVID-19 variants like Omicron, the importance of retail supply chains becomes clear in ensuring essential products are available across the country.
Representative image. Reuters
Parliament was informed earlier this month that the Center had proposed having a national retail policy to create an environment conducive to streamlining the growth of all retail formats, and consultations with retailers. stakeholders are organized for this purpose. Minister of State for Trade and Industry Som Parkash, in a written response to a question posed to Rajya Sabha, said that an enabling environment can be created by simplifying rules and regulations. âThe government proposes to have a national retail policy to create an environment conducive to streamlining the growth of all retail formats,â he said.
A draft national retail policy has been prepared to streamline retailing and the development of all formats of the retail sector in a harmonious manner, the Minister of State for Trade and Industry said on Wednesday. , Som Parkash, in a written response to Lok Sabha.
So what is the national retail policy?
As the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic with the emergence of new COVID-19[female[feminine With variants like Omicron, the importance of retail supply chains becomes clear in ensuring that essential products are available nationwide.
Here are some of the policy objectives:
- Promote e-commerce nationwide.
- Take advantage of the retail trade as a tool for the socio-economic development of the country.
- Encourage skills development and create more employment opportunities for all sections of society involved in retail.
- Identify and address existing infrastructure gaps affecting the retail industry.
- Accelerate investment flows to underdeveloped regions of the country.
Parkash said the policy aims to improve the ease of doing business by ensuring easy and quick access to affordable credit, facilitating the modernization and digitization of retail by promoting modern technology and superior infrastructural support, the development of physical infrastructure throughout the retail distribution chain, promotion of skills development and improvement of labor productivity. It would also seek to create large-scale employment opportunities, providing an effective consultation and grievance mechanism for the retail sector, for the well-being of traders and their employees.
This retail policy will also address the issue of physical infrastructure in setting up data centers as well as power supply, connectivity, etc., and also aims to encourage foreign investment in the market and the electronic business platform, in which foreign investment has been made.
Retailers in India are fighting for a national retail policy that will help build a cadre and mobilize the industry, 80-85 percent of which is still largely unorganized, reports mint. 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. .
The high number of laws, compounded by variations in implementation at the state level, creates immense complexity for retailers, especially those with a pan-Indian footprint. For example, the Stores and Establishments Act allows retailers in all states to open their stores year-round, 24 hours a day.
How will this change the retail industry?
Like The Hindu branch of activity reported, a CII report and Kearney highlights how a comprehensive national retail policy could facilitate the creation of three million jobs by 2024. It indicates that investing 6,500 crore in retail-related infrastructure, such as facilities cold storage and warehouses, could generate an additional two to three lakh jobs by 2024.
In addition, the report pointed out that the proposed policy could generate indirect employment opportunities in related sectors. Significantly, the retail sector is one of the largest employers of women in India, who make up around 25-30 percent of the total workforce. With this in mind, policy reforms focused on women could inflate this figure to around 35% or more.
The report concluded that retailing is a critical part of India’s growth. A coherent trade policy based on the pillars of simplification, standardization and digitization will pave the way for significant growth and accelerate an economic recovery in the short term.
With contributions from agencies