The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is actively working on the National Retail Trade Policy and expects to soon release it for public consultation.
Addressing an event organised by the Retailers Association of India, Anil Agrawal, Additional Secretary, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, on Wednesday said that the government is actively working on the National Retail Trade Policy that aims to enable holistic development of all forms of retail including small and large retailers, traditional trade as well as the e-commerce platforms.
“One of the key things we are trying to address through the policy is to ensure ease of doing business for the sector by measures such as rationalising the number of licences and simplifying the renewal processes. We are looking at ways to reduce the compliance burden for the retail sector as well as to ensure the sector has access to finance at low costs,” he added.
The Ministry will soon be seeking views from stakeholders on the draft policy, he said.
Priority sector lending
In July, the Centre had decided to bring retail and wholesale traders under the ambit of MSME classification so that they are eligible for priority sector lending by banks and financial institutions. Agrawal said this has been an important step in that direction.
“We are looking at new age models and not just conventional means to ensure cheaper finance is available to the retail sector. We are also looking at ways to reduce the cost of logistics and development of infrastructure for retail operations such as tech-enabled warehouses,” he said, adding that the focus of the policy will also be on skill development for the retail sector.
Talking about the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) initiative of the government, Agrawal said the best tech brains are working on this “ transformational” initiative” which will not just focus on sale and purchase but also fulfilment of orders.