Rajnath to inaugurate Traders Convention on Jan 6

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will inaugurate the three-day National Traders Convention here on January 6, which will deliberate upon various issues concerning traders, CAIT said on Friday.

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said various critical issues of the trading community will be discussed at the convention, including "onslaught of e-commerce companies on retail trade by their malpractices and violation of FDI policy and to seek immediate steps by the government to make them obligatory to comply with FDI policy or else leave the country".

"We are demanding to the government to make them (e-commerce companies) comply with the FDI policy," CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal told PTI.

One of the key issues of concern to be taken up at the Convention is how e-commerce firms are destroying India's domestic retail trade, Khandelwal said, adding that traders are also hit by issues related to GST, Food Safety Standards Act and difficulties in availing bank loans.

He said a Delhi Declaration will be issued at the end of the three-day convention after detailed deliberations on all key issues affecting traders.

Khandelwal informed that CAIT is coming up with an initiative to link 7 crore traders across the country to e-commerce without any fee.

"We ran a pilot of this scheme in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh which was quite successful. Now we will roll it out across the country," he added.

According to the traders' body, thousands of traders will participate in the convention to deliberate on several critical issues and release a Delhi Declaration as a mandate for 2020. The convention will also discuss role of trading community in achieving USD 5 trillion economy goal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Khandelwal said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will inaugurate the convention on January 6, which will also be attended by several Union ministers including Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Urban Development Minister Hardeep Puri, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, Textile Minister Smriti Irani and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

Early introduction of a comprehensive e-commerce policy, reforms needed for the e-commerce sector, including formation of a Regulatory Authority or Ombudsman, linkage of 7 crore traders with e-commerce under Digital India programme and ban on cash on delivery will also be discussed.

"Payment system in e-commerce will be elaborately discussed and future action plan will be chalked out. Similarly problems arising out of implementation of GST, simplification and rationalisation of GST tax structure, removal of disparities and anomalies in different GST tax rate slabs, blockage of refund with the government and ways and means for aggregation of 2 crore traders under GST will be discussed at length," Khandelwal said.

Acceptance and faster adoption of digital payments among trading community, abolition of bank charges on digital payments, digitalisation of traders and its road blocks, access to easy finance to traders through Banks & other financial institutions and policies for comprehensive financial inclusion of traders will also be discussed, he added. 

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