Retail sector asks for 'industry status'

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New Delhi, Feb 25 (UNI) The retail sector, which is poised to touch a market size of 427 billion dollars in the country by 2010, has urged for 'industry status' in this Budget to get fiscal incentives and financing.

''The grant of industry status to retailing would bring in major reforms to this sector. This would lead to greater focus on retail development, more fiscal incentives, encourage organised financing, etc,'' industry body FICCI said .

It also asked for introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) in all states inspite of differential sales tax prevailing in different states on the same product.

There is also need for uniformity in labour laws across different states by framing the labour laws by the Central government instead of the state government, it said.

''Retail operations need to obtain multiple licenses and permits, ranging from basic trading licenses to product specific licenses to pollution clearances. Each individual retail outlet has to acquire these, even if it is a part of a chain. These are irritants, add time and cost to the process of establishing a retail chain,'' FICCI said.

UNI PDT MP HS1726

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