Arpita Mukherjee lists the areas in the retail sector Union Budget should focus on.
1. Take steps towards recognising retail as an industry, assign it to a ministry, and create a proper policy framework
2. After recognising the importance of GST, there needs to be clarity on the implementation of GST. An important step in removing artificial trade barriers and help retailers reduce the impact of taxes and help them in creating supply chain methods based on transportation models rather than taxation models.
3. Form a clear policy that addresses foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian retail, which there is distinction between multi-brand and single-brand retail. A retail policy is needed, which addresses FDI in a way that creates a level playing field.
4. Introduce a single window system for clearing licences to streamline existing procedures, for retailers to get more clarity about getting money through ECB (external commercial borrowing) and FIIs (foreign institutional investors), routes that will allow retailers to get international funds without losing management control.
5. Focus on skill development for improved employment opportunities in the sector that employs the second largest number of people.