Revolution in retail trade

Revolution in retail trade
Highlights

The Telangana government is all set to bring the ‘Retail Trade Policy’ into force in December in a bid to attract huge investments in the retail sector from across the world and increase employment opportunities in the state.

Hyderabad: The Telangana government is all set to bring the ‘Retail Trade Policy’ into force in December in a bid to attract huge investments in the retail sector from across the world and increase employment opportunities in the state.

The government has finalised the draft policy under which the establishment of retail zones in all urban areas with an investment of Rs 100 crore or more would be allowed to remain open round the clock.

Relaxation of market rules in purchasing agriculture produce from farmers directly and 100 per cent reimbursement of stamp duty and transfer duty to the mega retail outlets are among other sops. Single, multibrand and mega retail shops would also get subsidies in power supply and other infrastructure facilities.

It is proposed to provide Rs 1 per unit power subsidy for five years. The investors would have to create 1,000 jobs in three years to avail the benefits.

The draft policy also includes establishing retail entertainment zones, including children’s entertainment zones, setting up of world-class warehouses on public-private partnership basis and to recognize distribution centres on par with the service industry.

Appointment of nodal officer to facilitate single window clearance, simplification of labour laws, inclusion of food and grocery retailing in essential services, relaxation of stocking limit under essential commodities Act and human resources and skill development in retail enterprise were among other important issues discussed in the policy.

All the departments concerned would hold a final meeting with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to get his approval in November. Before getting the CM’s nod, the industries department would call a meeting with investors and seek suggestions to strengthen the policy.

Hyderabad Kirana Merchant Association former president B Dhan Shyam said the policy would spell doom for small kirana shop owners. They are already bearing the brunt of mushrooming mega retail stores in the urban areas.

Once the policy comes into force, big retail stores would eat away grocery shops located even in interior places in the towns.

He demanded to extend some incentives to kirana shops also. He questioned the government for offering sops only to the big investors.

Change is part of business and every segment will be affected initially whenever a new policy comes into force, observed the Federation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTAPCCI).

Speaking to The Hans India, Ravindra Modi, former president, FTAPCCI, said: “Central government has advocating retail chain policy for some time now. Government wants to offer incentives and sops to organized retail including multibrand players. If they’re allowed to operate for 24 hours, it may not be a problem as supermarkets are already running till late hours.

“It’s too early to comment on Telangana government’s new retail trade policy. Retailing is getting consolidated in a big manner in India. TS, AP are no exception to this phenomenon. How it happens, let’s see. I don’t think there will be immediate adverse impact on small kirana stores as organised retail is only five per cent in the country.”

However, the Small Traders Association opposed the government move to support huge investments in retail trade through a policy which will affect their livelihoods.

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