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, a government official said, has written to the department of consumer affairs to set up a task force for framing the policy. In a letter to Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said the task force should have representations from different stakeholders. Retail trade is crucial for growth of Indian economy and the policy should be formulated to promote trade without sacrificing the interest of consumers.
The Consumer Affairs Ministry is the nodal agency for regulating internal trade. 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 a norms for retail trade, the official said.
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.
It has said that these steps will not only strengthen the domestic trade but also improve export performance of the country. According to them, over 6.5 crore small businesses are engaged in the sector across the country.