Karnataka retail policy in March

Karnataka retail policy in March

Close on the heels of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra announcing their retail policy, Karnataka is also gearing up to announce the same in March.

In an interaction with Deccan Herald, Karnataka Industries Minister R V Deshpande said the policy will get the cabinet clearance soon, and that it will make Karnataka the retail hub of India.

“We want the retail industry to flourish in the State so that it would generate more employment opportunities. Recently, we got some suggestions from various retail organisations, including Retailers Association of India (RAI),” he said.

Deshpande said the government is going through the policy framework brought out by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, and will incorporate those elements that will boost the investment. National Secretary General of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Praveen Khandelwal recently said that the retail policy unveiled by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra will flourish mall culture in trading.

“It is a fact that retailors contribute Rs 6,000 lakh crore to the GDP and employs about 40 million people in the country. India is one of the top five of the retail markets of the world, and the sector has only one per cent of NPAs compared with the huge money incurred by corporates in the country,” he said. The Federation of Retail Traders’ Welfare Association (FRTWA) president Viren Shah criticised the policies as the government prepared the policy only by taking into confidence the Retail Association of India, which is a body represented by 6 per cent of traders, a majority of them are mall owners.

According to sources familiar with the development, the Karnataka government is likely to give more concession to unorganised traders who are part of the retail segment. “The policy will also have forward looking initiatives like food and grocery enterprises to be brought under the Karnataka Essential Services Maintenance Act as ‘Essential Services’ to dissuade strikes,” sources said, adding that the distribution centres and warehouses for the retail sector will be declared to be a ‘public utility’ under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, in order to prevent flash strikes. 

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