SMR Act proposed for small retailers

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The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has demanded that on the patterns of MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises), the government should have an act to protect small and medium retailers.

Calling the proposed act as ‘Small and Medium Retailers Act’ (SMR Act), the apex trader body has suggested that it should have innovative schemes, such as ‘cluster approach’, to convert unorganised retailers into organised, modern retailers.

CAIT, which is a federation of trade associations across the country, has suggested that an individual shop can become a link of chain shops under a ‘cluster programme’, and such shops can be provided with credit facilities at low interest rates. This will facilitate a number of retail units to come together and transform themselves into chain shops, and they will have the clout to bargain in purchase, CAIT has suggested.

Also, CAIT has sent a communication to Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath demanding a policy statement that no big investment should be allowed in retail trade, even if it is through joint ventures with Indian partners.

It may be pointed out here that industry analysts feel that repeated attempts by a section of the trading community to block the march of modern retail is more of a political issue. After the ICRIER report, traders had opposed it on the grounds that it made derogatory comments on the trading community. Earlier, CAIT had demanded a National Policy on Retail Trade and urged for implementation of the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors.

— Raja Ghoshal

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