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Published on 17/05/2020 3:47:23 PM | Source: IANS

Emergent issues facing retail industry not addressed under stimulus: RAI

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The retail trade has said that the pressing issues facing the industry have not been addressed in the economic stimulus package.

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India said that with no with no income and zero support from the government, the industry
doesn't have the ability to support employees. This will lead to a massive slowdown in consumption that will further harm the economy and
the country, he added.

He said retailers need working capital in their hands to retain employment; lack of support will result in closure of businesses, and
jeopardise livelihoods and jobs of 46 million direct employees out of which 20 million work in non-essential retail.

"The Retailers Association of India (RAI) is of the view that the steps taken under the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' economic stimulus will help
the country in the long term but the emergent issues facing the retail industry have not been addressed", according to a statement.

The retail industry, which contributes around 40% to India's consumption and 10% to India's GDP, is severely stressed. "What
retailers needed was wage support; moratorium for payment of principal & interests and support in the form of working capital. This is
critical for retail to survive", it added.

Some earlier measures like reduction in TDS rates for payments or 2% reduction each in the EPF contribution of both the employer and
employee are minor measures that fail to provide the monetary support needed to keep a business functioning. Even the relief measures
offered to MSMEs by the government do not help retailers as retail is not covered under the MSME sector, the association said.