• Gujarat traders want policy for retail sector

    With business as well as competition set to increase following Union cabinet’s clearance to the Model Shops and Establishment Act, the trading community in Gujarat now wants the state government to come out with a state-specific policy for the development and protection of retail trade sector, especially the unorganised retail trade segment.

    Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has already made representation to the Gujarat government stressing on the need for a Gujarat retail trade policy. “We have approached the government and our proposal is currently under consideration,” said KT Patel, vice-president, GCCI.

    States like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have already unveiled retail policies for their respective states. “While these policies have not focused much on unorganised retail trade, we have suggested that the state government form a policy focusing on the unorganised retail traders, who have been facing stiff competition from corporate and e-commerce giants,” said Jayendra Tanna, president, Gujarat State Traders Federation. The federation has 600 trade associations as its members.

    Gujarat has more than 50 lakh unorganized small shop-owners and traders and they form a large chunk of the overall retail market. This segment, with no instituitional or government support, finds it very difficult to survive against corporate and online retailers who have deep pockets and the support of financial instituitions such as banks.

    “There are other problems related to finance, taxation and infrastructure. There has to be a policy to regulate all the stakeholders with special emphasis on small traders,” said Patel. Implementation of the new Model Act will result in more business and fuel further competition.

    “In such a situation, a separate retail trade policy will help maximize gains,” Tanna said.

    Among other things, GCCI has urged the government to create specialized financial instituitions exclusively for traders to improve credit flow. “Apart from providing for short to medium-term lending, traders want a separate office of trade commissioner to address issues faced by the traders. Kevin Shattenkirk Womens Jersey

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