With an attempt to bring a focused attention to the promotion of retail market and all associated activities in the State, the Telangana State government has formulated a new retail policy.
The policy which is in the draft stages was deliberated at a high-level meeting with the Chief Secretary Dr Rajiv Sharma on Friday. Officials of Industries, Municipal Administration, Labour and Home were present. The policy will now be sent to the Cabinet for approval.
Speaking on the occasion, the Principal Secretary, Industries, Commerce and Energy Arvind Kumar said the policy has been framed with an objective to boost Telangana’s position in the retail trade within the country and to create more employment opportunities to the youth. The meeting took stock of the various inter-departmental issues, which needed to be addressed. It was decided to allow the retail enterprises to undertake stocking and inventory management between 5 am and 2 am. The enterprise can undertake their logistics and supply purposes to meet necessary operational requirements. Women employees will be permitted to work beyond 10 pm after taking care of all safety precautions on par with service sector. Retail enterprises have been given an option for self-certification and filing of consolidated annual returns under various Acts by the Labour department.
The meeting agreed, in principle, for establishing retail entertainment zones, including kids’ entertainment zones, setting up world class warehouses on public-private partnership basis and to recognize distribution centers on par with the service industry. It was also decided that retail enterprise can self-certify based on existing regulations for fixing sky sign in and out of the premises of the retail stores subject to payment of requisite fees as applicable.
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, human resources and skill development in retail enterprise, pragmatic implementation of packaged commodities regulations, formation of an empowered committee at the State level to monitor the implementation of retail policy and develop procedures and make amendments whenever and wherever required, providing for gross and net metering for solar roof top or any other captive solar generation by the units and to encourage backward linkage by direct sourcing from the State and provide necessary hand holding for technology and productivity improvement are some of the key initiatives proposed in the retail trade policy, Arvind Kumar said.
Creation of employment opportunities, promoting grass root and SME entrepreneurship, empowerment of women and farmers, creating demand and support industries manufacturing “Made in India” commodities, growth of micro small and medium enterprises in retail trade, contribution to exchequer and enabling stable prices and offering greater variety to consumers are some of the highlights of the proposed policy, he added.
Special Chief Secretary, Municipal Administration and Urban Development M.G. Gopal, Principal Secretaries Ajay Mishra, Rajiv Trivedi, Commissioner of Industries Manick Raj and other officials attended the meeting. (NSS)