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Small traders to get DPIIT’s spotlight in draft national retail policy

The policy draft according to a government official will be ‘soon’ out for review and comments by stakeholders and the public. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

India’s 65 million small traders will be the centre of the upcoming draft national retail policy prepared by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). The policy draft according to a government official will be ‘soon’ out for review and comments by stakeholders and the public.

The draft currently in being formulated will “support the development of the (retail) sector that would benefit 65 million small traders,” PTI reported citing the official. The document would focus on enhancing the ease of doing business, licensing, access to funds, direct selling, digital payments and hyper-market related matters in the retail sector.

The comments come less than three weeks after the DPIIT secretary Ramesh Abhishek had held a meeting with trade associations and said that the draft will be released in the following 10 days, according to traders’ body The Confederation of All India Traders’ (CAIT) that was part of the meeting.

Retail trade in India is about $650 billion and is the lifeline of the economy, therefore a national retail policy is all the more necessary for smooth business activities in the country, according to Ramesh Abhishek. 

Also read: Government to release draft national retail policy in 10 days, final policy likely by September

The government has tried its best at all levels to understand the ground realities of retail trade and accordingly the policy is being designed to relieve traders from hardships, he had said.

CAIT had suggested the upgradation and modernisation of the existing format of retail trade. “While the government has moved to e-system (of doing business) but only 35 per cent of 7 crore traders so far have been able to computerise their business. The government should give 50 per cent subsidy for the remaining traders to go digital,” its secretary general Praveen Khandelwal had told Financial Express Online.

In its election manifesto, the incumbent Ruling party BJP had proposed establishing National Traders’ Welfare Board and a National Policy for Retail Trade for the growth of retail businesses.

Following the review from the stakeholders, the draft “will go to the Cabinet approval in July itself and we expect the final policy to be released by the first week of September,” Khandelwal had said.

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Source: Financial Express