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Trader bodies form alliance to 'digitally' empower unorganised sectors

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In a bid to develop a conducive atmosphere for digitalisation in the non-corporate sector, prominent stakeholders of the economy have come forward to form the ‘Alliance for Digital Bharat’. The alliance includes national organisations of traders, transporters, consumers, farmers, hawkers, SMEs, and self-employed groups to name a few.
“The proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is designed to be based on a digital platform coupled with various moves of the Government to encourage cashless economy, has necessitated the formation of an alliance which will become a common market in line with keeping at par the goods & services in GST,” the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), said in a press release.
At a conference held in New Delhi, the alliance launched a nationwide advocacy campaign to extend support to encourage digitalisation among different verticals of non-corporate sector. The alliance’s objectives includes raising awareness levels, among its constituent, other such newer technologies, for the benefit of small business owners, largely include online marketplaces, e-commerce, digital payments, mobile wallets, cloud based accounting software and comprehensive use of social media for the purpose of aggressive marketing of smaller businesses.
“Unfortunately in absence of any specified rules & regulations, the e-commerce market in India has become an open play ground and e commerce companies are engaged in several activities that are detrimental to small businesses,” Secretary General of CAIT and Convenor of the Alliance, Praveen Khandelwal, said in a press release.
He added: “Digital payment is one of the core payment system largely used in e commerce. In the light of same, the alliance has been formed to empower different verticals of non- corporate sector to meet the challenges beside impressing upon the Government to take proactive steps for fair competition.”
CAIT said the unorganised sector has long remain neglected when compared with rapid strides the organised sector has made over the last few years. This move not only supports the Government’s intention to leverage its financial inclusion scheme, but also allows smaller business owners to realise impending benefits of these new age technologies.
“Complexity in understanding impending benefits, hesitation in maintaining websites along with necessary/added features such as payment gateways, and resistance to trust technologies such as cloud computing, are often cited as reasons not to avail these technologies. Added to this, dependency on private institutions for credit does not help even if a business owner is convinced to scale up its presence. Small and medium business are now moving beyond promotion and marketing related activities on social media and are increasingly realising benefits of being listed online as an e-seller,” National President of CAIT, BC Bhartia, said.
The alliance intends to provide a set of principles, standards, policies and constraints and mutual support organizations to various micro-merchant, trader and allied communities to help them adopt emerging technologies such as e-commerce, and mobile banking including digital payments.

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