Staff Reporter

Centre urged to safeguard interests of millions of retailers

MADURAI: The Union Government has been urged to accept and implement the recommendation of a Parliamentary Standing Committee suggesting a blanket ban on corporates from entering retain trade.

Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has pointed out that allowing foreign and domestic corporates to invest in retail sector will endanger the livelihood of four crore people engaged in the sector and their 20 crore dependents.

Chamber senior president S. Rethinavelu along with secretary N. Jegatheesan also deposed at New Delhi before the committee, which is headed by Murli Manohar Joshi, BJP leader and MP, and comprises 30 MPs of various parties.

The report, which was submitted and laid before both Houses of Parliament in June, recommended imposing a blanket ban on domestic corporates and foreign retailers from entering into retail trade in grocery, fruits and vegetables.

It also called for formulation of an enactment exclusively to protect small and medium retailers similar to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, Mr. Rethinavelu said in a press release.

He said that the Committee had called upon the Centre to halt issuing further licences for ‘Cash and Curry’ business to both transnational retailers and those foreign corporates with Indian partners.

The Government should consider establishing a National Commission to study the problems in retail sector and to evolve policies that would enable it cope up with foreign direct investment. Cooperatives and cooperative marketing should be encouraged to strengthen unorganised retail sector, the committee said.