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Amitabh Kant urges for one policy on retail biz and e-commerce

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India is the only country where there are different policies for different segments of the retail business and e-commerce. Logically, there should be one policy, said Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog. Kant was interacting with CEOs at the Valedictory Session of the sixth edition of Massmerize 2016, FICCI’s annual flagship Retail, FMCG & E-Commerce Convention, held in New Delhi today.

He said that in today’s globalized world, it has become essential for India to become a part of the global supply chain. Mr. Kant said that the government was encouraging domestic entrepreneurs but with the foreign players coming in there would be healthy competition.

He said that the domestic market would be challenged by the foreign businesses, which would enable indigenous companies to scale up, enhance quality of products and services and penetrate global markets.

Speaking on digitization, Mr. Kant said that technology would play a key role for retail sector. With a growing penetration of the internet, which reaches to rural areas of the country, the retailers would be able to deepen their market. He added that the retailers should also look at widening their base of suppliers and promote and market made in India goods and products.

On GST, Mr. Kant said that with the passage of GST Bill in the Parliament, the challenge would be to bring on board every state of the country. To make GST highly effective, there was a need for states to think progressively and work in tandem with the Centre. He added that the way forward for GST should be keeping the tax rates low and eliminating exemptions.

Mr. Kant said that India’s GDP needs to grow at 9-10% for decades to meet the rising aspirations of burgeoning consuming class. This, he said, can be achieved only when at least 12 states will grow at a rate of 12-13%, by actively embracing technology and improving its standard of products. The Centre has therefore started ‘ease of doing business’ ranking of the states on various indices. He added that the intention is to change the mindset and allow states to compete with each other and improve business and investment environment in the country.

For the annual flagship CEOs of various companies participated including Mr. Devendra Chawla, Group President – Food FMCG, Brands, Future Group; Mr. Bijou Kurien, Board Member, L Capital Asia; Mr. Gaurav Mahajan, President, Raymond Apparel Ltd; Mr. Rajesh Jain, Managing Director & CEO, Lacoste India; and Mr. Raghava Rao, Finance Director and CFO, Amazon India. The session moderator was Mr. K Radhakrishnan, Co-Founder, Grocermax.