Govt considering national policy for retail trade

• The government is considering a national policy on retail trade with a view to ensuring orderly growth of the fast-growing sector.

• The commerce and industry ministry has written to the department of consumer affairs to set up a task force for framing the policy.

=> Significance of Retail trade

• Retail trade is crucial for the growth of Indian economy and the policy should be formulated to promote trade without sacrificing the interest of consumers.

• Over 6.5 crore small businesses are engaged in the sector across the country.

• The Consumer Affairs Ministry is the nodal agency for regulating internal trade.

=> Suggestion for policy

• The commerce ministry should also take on board state governments while framing the policy norms as retail trade is also governed by the Shops and Establishment Act.

• The matter assumes significance as Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) have requested the government for the policy and formation of a separate ministry of internal trade.

• Policies will not only strengthen the domestic trade but also improve export performance of the country.

=> Background

• The ministry 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.

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