Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, Piyush Goyal, held a meeting with representatives of associations of kirana stores, traders and retailers in New Delhi today. Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State of Commerce and Industry and Som Parkash, Minister of State of Commerce and Industry were also present during this interaction.
Piyush Goyal interacted with the representatives in order to engage them for discussions on issues of e-Commerce and explore the strengths and weaknesses of small traders. The Minister also looked at the possibilities of small stores, traders and retailers who may benefit from an e-Commerce platform. He urged small traders and retailers to come on the GeM platform which has achieved Rs. 25000 crore turn over.
Commerce and Industry Minister urged the participants to speak frankly and put before him all their apprehensions and fears so that the Commerce and Industry Ministry and other Government Departments may be able to address them.
Representatives of the associations of kirana stores, traders and retailers discussed the need for a level playing field and the impact of anti-competitive practices like predatory pricing and other discriminatory methods that are being faced by them from foreign competition.
Commerce and Industry Minister again reiterated that India will not allow multi-brand retail by foreign companies and on the pretext of B2B no entry will be allowed for multi-brand retail. Commerce Minister assured the participants that each and every point made by them will be taken up. He also asserted that predatory pricing will not be allowed and necessary action will be taken against defaulters. Piyush Goyal further said that the Government of India will give all support and assistance to small traders and retailers to grow their business.
Piyush Goyal further said that the aspect of data in the law is being addressed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). He requested the representatives of associations of kirana stores, traders and retailers to send all suggestions for the draft e-Commerce policy in the next five days without any delay. The e-Commerce policy will be finalized only after taking into account every suggestion received by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), said the Minister.
Piyush Goyal urged small retailers, kirana stores to make use of modern technology and avail benefits of Government of India schemes like MUDRA to improve their business, spruce up their shops, improve stocks by storing high quality products and pass on the benefits to people employed by them.
Minister explained that by bringing in greater controls through rules and laws will only help up to a certain point, but for long term gain, short term pain will have to be borne and India cannot remain in isolation and will have to be part of the global value chain in order to become a USD 5 trillion economy.