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Access to low-cost finance and consumption boost top RAI’s budget wishlist

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The industry body asserts that implementing these measures will strengthen the retail industry and contribute to the GDP of the country

Bengaluru: In its recommendations to the central government for the Union Budget 2024–2025, the industry apex body Retailers Association of India (RAI) has highlighted the need to provide lower interest rates to retailers through a special announcement.

RAI suggests that the government should allocate a special fund and formulate a special trader finance scheme with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to help millions of independent retailers across the nation by declaring low-cost loans and relaxing some industry guidelines.

RAI further proposed to focus on generating demand and spurring consumption by offering benefits or concessions in the form of lower taxes. Tax benefits and relief to individual taxpayers will increase the monthly disposable income and support consumption.  It will boost overall consumer sentiment and benefit the retail sector.

Moreover, the retail body has also asked the government to encourage innovative and convenient digital payment methods since in India’s semi-urban and rural shops. It has also supported eliminating the burden in the cash-based economy like India and making it simpler for corporations to enhance operations in the online segment.

The association has put forth several additional recommendations, including expediting the national retail policy to enable ease of doing business, extending all the MSME benefits to retail traders, e-enablement of MSME retailers, considering food and beverage retail as an essential service providing subsidies and endorsing the adoption of the Model Shops and Establishment Act, allowing states the option to keep shops and other establishments open 24×7 throughout the year.

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