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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Add ‘Trade in India’ to ‘Make in India’: Traders’ lobby

New Delhi — Associating itself with the Make in India campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a body of swadeshi brand traders urged the prime minister to undertake a “Trade in India” campaign too, explaining that the initiative would succeed only when products manufactured under the scheme reach the end consumer through a homogenous supply chain.   More than six crore business enterprises in the country entirely are carriers of the current supply chain that enjoys no government support.

BC Bhartia and Praveen Khandelwal of the CAIT said that goods manufactured in India needed an efficient delivery mechanism to reach the end consumer through a strong and dependent supply chain.

There is an urgent need to develop a conducive atmosphere for “Trade in India”, remove the supply chain from the clutches of a plethora of laws, cumbersome taxation, bureaucratic hurdles and make easy finance available. Both the business leaders said that the supply chain had to comply with more than 24 types of laws, acts, rules and regulations, which includes VAT, excise, custom, entry tax, tax on commercial properties, trade license, storage license, road permits, income tax, service tax, audit under different acts, food license, drug license, minimum wages act, ESI, provident fund, Weights & Measurements Act, Packaging Commodities Act, wealth tax, stamp duty, etc.

Raising the bogey of FDI in retail that is hardly present in the country, the group claimed it was facing “serious threats” from foreigners in the business as well as from e-commerce and various other roadblocks.

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman intends to raise GDP contribution of manufacturing sector from 15% to 25% whereas the entire supply chain contributes 45% to the national GDP despite facing odds and an adverse business atmosphere, the swadeshi lobbyists said. If a conducive and homogenous atmosphere is provided under an initiative with the mantra “Trade in India”, this contribution could be raised to 60% or more.

The group that identifies itself as an assembly of “non-corporate sector” businesses is willing — and eager — to cooperate with the government, it said through a press release. It urged the prime minister to constitute a board of internal trade to evolve market policies and strategies in order to make “Trade in India” a reality.

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