Industry highlighted the strategies to boost retail trade at CII National Retail Summit held in New Delhi.
Dr Anup K Pujari, Secretary, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) highlighted the importance to enhance the credit space available to the retail sector. “Merely by granting industry status to retail segment will not tie over its challenges and help ease the access to the credit,” he added.
While inaugurating the CII National Retail Summit in New Delhi, Dr Pujari opined at MSMEs in the retail segment was automatically covered under the priority sector, where 40 percent of the credit has been allocated. In the definition of the priority sector, he said, there is no mention whether that the allocation has been reserved only for the manufacturing units. According to him, all segments of businesses under the MSME category are eligible for credit under the priority sector. However, he said that he would sit with the CII representatives to look into lacunae, if any, to take ameliorative steps. Bankers insist on collaterals while lending credit and the retailers mostly meet the norms set, he added.
The secretary said that all segments in the retail viz mom and pop shops, organised retail and e-commerce could co-exist since one can expect a convergence of all these segments in the future. For instance, there can be symbiotic relationship among these segments so that the organised retailer or e-commerce operator could deliver goods through mom and pop stores to suit the convenience of the customers. “I am confident in the Indian retail landscape newer concepts will emerge that takes care of interests of all stakeholders,” he added.
Arvind Mehta, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry said that e-commerce in India would leap frog and would contribute substantially to US$ 1.2 trillion mark, which it was expected to reach in five time or so. At the same time, the share of mom and pop shops and organized retail would be significant. The opening of multi brand retail, he said, was a political decision and the government would be cautious in doing so in view of the large presence of informal sector in retail. Modernisation of the informal sector with the induction of appropriate technology would give more confidence to the government to take further liberalization measures, he added.
Mehta said with the gradual emergence of a large number of people who enjoy accumulated assets, higher disposable income, particularly in the young age profile, retail sector in India would witness exponential growth in the coming years.
Earlier in his welcome address, Shashwat Goenka, Chairman, CII Retail Committee and Sector Head, Spencer’s Retail, has underscored the need for granting industry status to the retail sector, assigning a nodal ministry for all clearances, and inducting state-of-the- art technologies for giving a boost to the retail trade.
BS Nagesh, Founder TRRAIN and Non Executive Vice Chairman, Shoppers Stop stressed the need for taking appropriate steps to ease selling which is imperative to expand the retail trade. He also wanted a retail policy by the state governments as has been done by Andhra Pradesh government recently. The employees in the over 35 million retail units in the country are underpaid and their lot can be improved only by enhancing the turnover of the retail segment.