After cabinet’s green signal to Model Shops and Establishment act, traders from one of the richest states of the country, Gujarat, want the government to introduce state-specific policy to develop and protect the retail sector of the state. They want the government to not only introduce positive reforms, but also to further support the unorganized retail segment of the state.
In its recent meeting with the state government officials, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has made the presentation elaborating on the needs for Gujarat retail trade policy. KT Patel, Vice-President, GCCI said that the association has approached the government and its proposal is currently under consideration. Traders of Gujarat want the government to work on the similar lines of other states such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka who have already taken their covers off from their retail policies.
Sharing his views on the subject, Jayendra Tanna, President, Gujarat Trade Federation opined that while these policies have not focused much on unorganised retail trade, traders have suggested that the state government form a policy focusing on the unorganised retail traders, who have been facing stiff competition from corporate and e-commerce giants.
Gujarat has more than 50 lakh unorganized small shop-owners and traders and they form a large chunk of the overall retail market. This segment, with no instituitional or government support, finds it very difficult to survive against corporate and online retailers who have deep pockets and the support of financial instituitions such as banks.
Elaborating further, Patel added that are other problems related to finance, taxation and infrastructure. There has to be a policy to regulate all the stakeholders with special emphasis on small traders.