DPIIT to float draft national retail policy for stakeholder review soon

The DPIIT had proposed to formulate a national retail policy as part of its 100-day action plan to promote domestic retail, benefitting 6.5 crore small traders in the country

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will reportedly float the draft national retail policy soon to seek stakeholders' views on the document. The department has completed the consultations on the proposed policy, and it is currently in the process of drafting it, a report said.

The main elements of the national retail policy will be promoting ease of doing business, licensing, direct selling, access to funds and matters related to hyper-markets, The Economic Times reported. The policy will also focus on measures to promote the growth of the retail sector, increase in digital payments, and reducing the infrastructural bottlenecks, the report further added.

The draft national retail policy will be put for reviews from all stakeholders, including state governments. The states' view is imperative for the retail policy as the sector falls under the ambit of Shops and Establishment Act which is implemented by the state governments.

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The DPIIT, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, was charged with the responsibility internal or domestic trade in February. Earlier, the commerce affairs ministry was the nodal agency for the sector.

The DPIIT had proposed the national retail policy to support domestic trade as part of its 100-day action plan under the new Modi government. According to the action plan, large-scale programme for capacity building of managers of small businesses would be undertaken to improve productivity. The policy is expected to benefit 6.5 crore small traders in the country.

The department is already in the process of formulating guidelines on e-commerce and, hence, it would be appropriate for the ministry to come out with norms for retail trade, the official added.

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Domestic traders' body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has time and again requested the government for such a framework. The demand for the policy from domestic traders came after multi-national retail firms entered the Indian markets and started providing huge discounts of goods.