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Last Updated : Jan 27, 2015 11:47 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Budget 2015: Retail seeks industry status, national policy

Outlining their expectations from the Budget FY15-16, the industry body has submitted a 10-point retail policy agenda to the government.


Moneycontrol Bureau


Seeking an industry status, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) wants the government to roll out a National Policy for Retail and Internal Trade.


Outlining their expectations from the Budget FY15-16, the industry body has submitted a 10-point retail policy agenda to the government.


The wishlist includes flexibility to farmers, manufacturers, dealers and consumers; early implementation of GST; creation of retail and entertainment zoning norms; development of infrastructure; simplification of labour laws; skill development; single-window licensing; facilitating financing and investment options for retail; and exemption from weekly closure of shops.


Indian retail market is counted among the top four in the world and is one of the fastest growing. It accounts for 14 percent of GDP and employs over 7 percent of the total workforce, second-largest employer after agriculture, RAI said.


However, the industry body thinks that the sector is plagued with business challenges such as inadequate physical infrastructure, inefficiencies in supply chain, complex regulatory environment, shortage of skilled manpower, etc.


“Lack of ‘status’ to retail means lack of focus from the banking and financing sectors. Small retailers still use parallel means of finance – including traditional moneylenders.
Recognized status would provide better access to funding. Also, lending to MSME retailers would be included under priority sector lending norms,” Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of RAI, said in a report.


The industry body thinks that there needs to be priority focus on development of internal trade in Consumer Affairs Ministry starting with adoption of a National Retail Policy providing direction and a specific roadmap for the country.


On why India needs National Policy for Retail and Internal Trade, RAI explained that it will help consumers get better prices, more options and convenience while buying. “It will allow greater consumer choice – when, where and from whom they want to buy.”


The industry feels that implementation of goods and services tax (GST) can remove differences in tax rates and other procedural lapses. “It will allow retail sector to become more tax efficient and some of these efficiencies will get passed on to consumers in form of lower prices,” the report added.

Posted by Kankana Roy Choudhury

First Published on Jan 22, 2015 07:24 pm
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