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Traders, distributors seek a Board to help present their problems related to e-commerce sector

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on February 26, 2020 Published on February 26, 2020

Retail traders and the distributors of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in Karnataka have urged the government to form a ‘Traders Board’ to present to the authorities their grievances related to online e-commerce portals.

Addressing presspersons in Mangaluru on Wednesday, Nagesh Pai, President of Distributors’ Association Dakshina Kannada and member of the Karnataka Retail and Traders’ Welfare Federation, said that the establishment of such a board will help them present their problems to a single authority. Currently, they have to approach different departments to explain their grievances. Such a Board should comprise sector-experts, they said.

There are around 12 lakh distributors across the country, contributing a significant share of tax to the government.

He said the distribution business has been pushed to great financial difficulty because of the onslaught of online e-commerce players and other modern retail players.

“Distributors are under existential threat due to the unhealthy and unethical policies of the modern trade,” he said, adding that this has also resulted in decline of tax to the government.

“We are not against fair competition or price cutting, but we demand level-playing field to survive in the business and progress,” Pai said.

There should be a ‘one nation one price’ policy on the lines of the ‘one nation one tax’ policy of the government, he said.

Urging the government to bring in laws to provide a level-playing field to the distributors to the run the business smoothly, he said the government should provide them a platform like a ‘Traders Board’ to bring their grievances to the notice of the authorities concerned, and to avoid unethical trade practices by e-commerce portals.

Seeking a level-playing field for its members, the Karnataka Retail and Traders’ Welfare Federation has given a call for voluntary business bandh on February 28. He said the members of the Federation from Dakshina Kannada will support this bandh call.

Speaking on the occasion, Ganesh Kamath, Secretary of South Kanara District Chemists and Druggists Association, said that members of his association, too, are facing a similar situation.

Stating that medicines are sold under the prescription of a doctor, he said, there is a risk of misuse of prescription in the loosely-regulated online trade.

Not many countries across the world have encouraged e-commerce in medicine, though they have expanded in overall e-commerce trade, he said.

Published on February 26, 2020
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