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Govt. may set up retail regulator

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To monitor retail trade and act upon complaints of illegal practices in the $328 billion retail sector, the government is looking at the possibilities of setting up a national authority.

The authority will keep check on areas ranging from procurement to land acquisition, marketing and servicing.

The move is believed to be in response to the strong political opposition to organised retail in general and FDI in particular. The proposal is at an initial stage and has to be discussed with various ministries before being taken up by the cabinet. Most likely, the regulator will be under the purview of ministry of commerce & industry or the department of consumer affairs, the details of which are being worked out.

“It is imperative to look at the sector from a consumer and producer perspective. The law on consumer protection at present provides a redress mechanism that not only allows handing down preventive orders and compensation,” said an official.

If the regulator is set up, India will probably become the only country to have one for the retail sector.

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