The proposals are part of the draft National Retail Trade Policy prepared by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), which seeks to examine the feasibility of providing a single license for a retail store and a general category of license for selling ‘Over the Counter’ items for retailers without the requirement of employing qualified professionals. ET has reviewed the policy.
“The policy is under consultations and stakeholders are giving their comments. The aim is improvement in ease of doing business in the retail sector,” said an official.
The draft also proposes an Accident Insurance Scheme for Traders to protect them from any untoward incidents besides setting up Traders Welfare Board at national, state and district levels.
The policy is not intended for e-commerce, direct selling, multi-level marketing or street vendors and the government intends to provide a national common framework for development of retail sector across the country through it.
Kearney Research has projected India’s retail industry to grow 9% over 2019-2030. Retail accounts for over 10% of the country’s gross domestic product and around 8% of the employment. India is the world’s fifth-largest global destination in the retail space.
As per the draft policy, efforts will be made to replace licenses with a simple registering process and panIndia acceptance of a license issued by one state will be encouraged. Wholesale distribution markets may be treated at par with industrial areas or parks, it said.
The department has suggested review of eight laws including trade License, Insecticides Act, 1968, Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and License for Drugs Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 to reduce the compliance burden and decriminalise minor technical or procedural offences.
Ensuring easy and quick access to affordable credit is another aim of the policy and banks will be encouraged for advancing loans against inventories held by traders, according to the draft.
The government will promote indigenous manufacturing of retail related modern fixtures, digital equipment, devices and solutions and management tools while retailers will be encouraged to adopt the Open Network for Digital Commerce, according to the draft.