'Announce accidental insurance, concessional credit'

Last Updated 23 January 2019, 14:35 IST

Traders' body CAIT on Wednesday demanded an incentive package from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for traders such as accidental insurance coverage, credit at concessional rates and rationalisation of GST slabs.

In a letter to the prime minister, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said: "We shall request you to either declare the package before Budget or include the same in the forthcoming Budget."

Their demands include accidental insurance of Rs 10 lakh for traders registered under the goods and services tax (GST); subsidy for purchasing computers and allied goods; national policy for retail trading and e-commerce; retail regulatory authority; and the establishment of a trade promotion council.

"It is also urged that the traders should be given loan by banks at a concessional rate of interest. So far, only 5 per cent of the small businesses could able to obtain loans and balance are dependent upon private moneylenders, relatives and other sources," CAIT said.

On GST, it suggested that the tax slab of 18 per cent should be abolished and the 28 per cent slab should be restricted only to most luxurious items.

"Commodities like auto parts, cement should be taken out from 28 per cent tax slab and may be placed under 12 per cent slab. Items used as raw material and daily use items of the poor section should be placed under 5 per cent tax slab," it added.

The confederation also asked for simplification of GST, a pension scheme for the traders registered under GST, the abolition of mandi tax and toll tax, and a model tenancy act for curtailing litigations between landlords and tenants.

Further, it asked for conducting a nationwide survey of retail trade to gather financial and social status of the sector so that proper policies and programme can be formulated.

"We also request that direct lending by banks under MUDRA scheme should be disbanded and non-banking finance companies, microfinance institutions and private moneylenders duly registered should be roped in to lend money," it added.

Moreover, the confederation suggested that all digital payments should be free from a levy of bank charges to encourage digital payment.

"As of now, banks are charging 1-2 per cent charges for digital payment transactions which discourage people to adopt digital payment system," it said, adding that tax benefits and other incentives should also be given for adoption and acceptance of digital payments by the traders and consumers.

(Published 23 January 2019, 14:30 IST)

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