Parliament panel invites suggestions on retail sector

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New Delhi, June 6 (UNI) The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce has invited suggestions from stakeholders and people on foreign and domestic investment in the retail sector in view of inconclusive debate on the hot issue.

A study by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (Icrier) has recommended a nationwide uniform licensing policy to facilitate modern retailing, which will help take India's total retail sector to 590 billion dollars in 2011-12.

Among other policy recommendations to help kirana stores cope with modern retail, the think-tank has advised the government to provide better access to cheaper institutional credit for small retailers. At present, only 12 per cent of unorganised retailers have access to institutional credit.

The findings of the government-commissioned study are based on a survey of 2,020 unorganised small retailers across 10 major cities, 1,318 consumers shopping from both organised and organised retail outlets, 100 intermediaries and 197 farmers.

The unorganised retail sector has, however, rejected the findings, saying opening of the retail sector to foreign and domestic big players will affect livelihood of millions of mom&pop stores by encouraging corporatisation of the retail sector.

The parliamentary panel, headed by Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, has already heard some oral evidence on the issue. It has also undertaken on-the-spot study visits to some places.

But the committee has now decided to receive inputs from a wider cross section of stakeholders and the public at large, a Commerce Ministry statement said today.

Stakeholders and people have been asked to send their views and suggestions in writing in English or Hindi to Mr Surinder Kumar Watts, Director, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, 240, Second Floor, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi-110001 (Tel: 23034240 and Fax: 23013158) or e-mail at watts@sansad.nic.in within 30 days.

The submissions would form part of the records of the committee and would be treated as confidential, the statement added.

UNI SAA MP 1358

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