National policy on retail trade sought

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 23, 2018

Retailers Association of India has emphasised the need for a national policy on trade for retail.

“Retail business has been growing and is estimated at over $560 billion. But a policy for retail is still not in place. It (retail) is still under the Shop and Establishment Act,” lamented the association's Chief Executive Officer Kumar Rajagopalan.

While stating that certain states such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana , Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh evinced interest for creating a Retail Policy, the other States should also chip in, in the larger interest of the trade. “We are looking at a State Level Policy on Retail”, he said.

Kumar Rajagopalan was in the city for the Coimbatore Retail Summit 2015 at Taj Vivanta this morning.

Asked what the association sought in such a policy, he said “it should address the retail space (business). Today, there is no single window clearance for those wanting to start a retail establishment. They will have to get 50 different clearances such as for power, shop floor, business license etc, will have multiple check points and taxes. A nodal ministry and some nodal officers to do these checks would go a long way in conforming with the Government's mantra of ease of doing business in India.”

The association which came into existence in 2004 has only about 1,000 members till date. Rajagopalan is expecting the enrolments to surge once the GST is in place. “There are over 12 million outlets in the country; while retailers are our members, their franchisees are not,” he explained.

Online format

To a query on online retailing, T Shantakumar, Managing Director, Kirtilal Kalidas Jewellers Pvt Ltd, said that the trend is catching up and becoming a necessity at present. “Online business extends support to the traditional store format, and is expected to become lot cheaper going forward.”

Kirtilals is looking to venture into online format soon, he said. The jewellery store, according to Arun Kumar, Head (Marketing), is in the process of integrating technology and creating an app to enable its customers view its range of products online.

It would be rolled out soon, Shantakumar said.

Published on April 23, 2015

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