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Sellers push for faster rollout of National Retail Trade Policy

In December last year, the Ministry of Commerce had said that a draft National Retail Trade Policy has been prepared for streamlining retail trade and development of all formats across the industry. (File Photo)Premium
In December last year, the Ministry of Commerce had said that a draft National Retail Trade Policy has been prepared for streamlining retail trade and development of all formats across the industry. (File Photo)

The draft policy is aimed at improvement in ease of doing business ensuring easy and quick access to affordable credit, facilitating modernization and digitization of retail trade by promoting modern technology and superior infrastructural support, among others

NEW DELHI: Retailers are once again batting for a faster rollout of India’s national retail trade policy hoping it will bring about a level-playing field for small sellers, provide them access to credit as well as help large, organized retailers with quicker approvals.

“We have been working with all retailers to come up with a national retail policy which is acceptable to all the stakeholders. The e-commerce players, modern trade as well as the small mom-pop stores. A (draft) policy has been proposed but for some reason the implementation has not happened. Our request to the government, through this forum, is to accelerate the adoption of this policy and formalization of this policy," Arvind Mediratta, MD and CEO, metro Cash & Carry India and Chairperson, Retail & Internal Trade Committee, FICCI said at an event hosted by industry body FICCI on Friday.

In December last year, the Ministry of Commerce had said that a draft National Retail Trade Policy has been prepared for streamlining retail trade and development of all formats across the industry.

The draft policy is aimed at improvement in ease of doing business ensuring easy and quick access to affordable credit, facilitating modernization and digitization of retail trade by promoting modern technology and superior infrastructural support, development of physical infrastructure across the distribution chain of retail trade, promotion of skill development and to improve labour productivity, creation of large scale employment opportunities, providing an effective consultative and grievance redressal mechanism for the retail sector, for welfare of traders and their employees, it said.

However, the policy is yet to be firmed up and rolled out basis industry consultations.

Mediratta said various industry bodies have made representations to various government agencies. “The draft is ready, however, the industry has little clarity over the roll-out of the policy," he said speaking on the sidelines of the event.

India’s market for retail trade is largely unorganized. According to a 2020 report by industry body CII and consulting company Kearney, a number of laws, compounded by state-level variations in implementation, create immense complexity for retailers, especially those with a pan-Indian footprint. This makes it imperative for retailers to ensure a comprehensive pan-India policy is in place.

“If you want to set up a store in organized retail, you probably need to knock on the doors of 40 different authorities. There could be a single window clearance, some states like Telangana have actually adopted that, but it needs to be adopted across the country" Mediratta said.

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