Andhra Pradesh announces retail policy, signs MoUs worth Rs 1,500 cr

By: | Published: January 12, 2016 1:00 AM

The state govt has signed MoUs with four retail majors — Future Group, Walmart, Spencer’s Retail and Arvind Lifestyle

Andhra Pradesh on Monday announced a retail policy, pinning hopes on the rapid growth of the industry. The state government has signed MoUs with four retail majors — Future Group, Walmart, Spencer’s Retail and Arvind Lifestyle — amounting to an investment of Rs 1,500 crore.

With this announcement, AP has claimed to become the first state in the country to have a policy for the retail sector.
Stressing on the need for a retail policy, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that AP has the potential to become a retail hub.  Being a leading state in agriculture, horticulture, dairy and poultry production, the state is looking at online marketing of  the produce to eliminate any third party’s mediator’s involvement in the process, he said.

Under the policy, the food and grocery enterprises will be  basketed under the Andhra Pradesh Essential Services Maintenance Act as ‘Essential Services’ to dissuade strikes. Distribution centres and warehouses for the retail sector will be declared to be a ‘public utility’ under the Industrial Disputes Act,1947 in order to prevent flash strikes.

The state government has also simplified a few labour laws which will permit retail enterprises to operate between 6 am and 11 pm provided employees work in a minimum of two shifts.

“The new retail policy will help make AP as a hub for retail and logistics by promoting setting up of warehouses and distribution centres. It would help accelerate investment flow and leverage retail trade as a tool for socio-economic development of the state,” Naidu said.

Meanwhile, the ongoing CII Partnership Summit at Visakhapatnam saw MoUs with investment intents of over Rs 1.7 lakh crore taking the total investment commitments to over Rs 3.6 lakh crore.

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