Amid growing clamour over regularising ecommerce and protecting traditional sellers from foreign retail giants, Uttar Pradesh Traders Welfare Board on Thursday asserted that it would act for protecting the interests of traders.
Board chairman Ravikant Garg said the institutional body was seized of the ecommerce debate and was already in the process of evolving consensus among traders before coming out with suggestions.
"On the issue of ecommerce, there are divergent views among the state traders. While, some are in support of ecommerce, others are apprehensive of its likely impact. We will consider the viewpoints of all the stakeholders in this regard," he told mediapersons.
UP traders have been vociferously demanding that the Centre and UP government formulate an ecommerce and online trade policy to protest small retailers from the "onslaught" of global ecommerce players.
The traders have been warning that domestic economy would go for a toss and millions of retailers would be rendered unemployed if the government failed to nurture a level playing field for small trade via a composite online trade policy.
Last week, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) met union commerce minister Piyush Goyal and suggested that domestic ecommerce needed a revamp, while an ecommerce policy was imperative in the present circumstances.
Last year, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath had advised Walmart to create synergies with local traders and farmers for deriving mutual benefit. Walmart International president and CEO Judith McKenna and country president and CEO Krish Iyer had called upon the CM in September 2018 to brief him about the company’s activities in UP.
Earlier, UP Adarsh Vyapar Mandal had alleged that multinationals were gradually gaining control over Indian retail market, but the government looked ignorant of the exigent development. "The end result is that every day, small traders are losing out on their business and are even compelled to seek job with these big companies," Mandal president Sanjay Gupta said.
On October 30, 2018, RSS-affiliated labour union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) had organised a big rally in Lucknow to highlight labour issues even as it warned the government against continuing with the purported anti-labour and pro-industry employment policies.
Meanwhile, an 11-member Board was constituted by the Adityanath government in February 2019 to act as an interface between the state and traders with the mandate of looking into aspects of safety and welfare of business community, and facilitate speedy resolution of problems being faced by traders.
At its maiden meeting, the board passed a resolution for creating an emergency corpus for traders. A proposal in this regard would soon be handed over to the state government, Garg said.
Besides, the board discussed modalities for the implementation of traders’ pension scheme for traders above the age of 60 years, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.