Traders have demanded framing of ecommerce policy and launching a 'desi' ecommerce portalA retail shop

Virendra Singh Rawat

Alleging flouting of trade and business rules by ecommerce giants, Uttar Pradesh traders have urged the Centre to frame a federal ecommerce policy.

They have also suggested creating a ‘desi’ ecommerce portal to onboard Indian retail traders for their ecommerce foray and future growth.

The traders asserted an ecommerce policy was imperative to a level playing field for retail traders, and ensure that the ecommerce companies adhered to trade rules and laws.

In this regard, a memorandum was submitted to National Traders’ Welfare Board (NTWB) chairman Sunil Singhi by UP Adarsh Vyapar Mandal president Sanjay Gupta during a traders summit here on July 20.

Gupta, who is also the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) regional chairman, asserted that a comprehensive ecommerce policy was needed at the state and national level to protect the interests of tens of millions of traders and the livelihood of people thereof.

“The proposed ecommerce policy should be enforced compulsorily to alleviate the propensity of ecommerce companies to flout rules of the land,” he added.

Besides, the traders have demanded adequate representation in the committee constituted to frame such ecommerce policy.

The Centre had set up NTWB as an institutional mechanism for the welfare of traders and their employees, and to improve their access to funds as well as recommend social security benefits including insurance and pension.

The Board was constituted by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under the union ministry of commerce and industry.

Recently, the NTWB had announced that district level committees across the states will be formed to take up issues pertaining to small and medium traders at the national platform.

In fact, the government is already drafting a policy for the digitalisation of small traders as a transition to digital platforms is expected to enhance competitiveness and opportunities for small traders.

Meanwhile, Gupta said an indigenous ecommerce portal should be created at the state level for encouraging small retail traders to join the ecommerce arena without any onboarding fee.

“The indigenous ecommerce portal should provide a marketplace to traders, and not sell any products. This portal should be funded by the government,” he added.

Gupta further demanded the constitution of a Traders Policy Commission in UP for protecting the interests of the community.

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“The state finance minister should hold a quarterly meeting with the representatives of prominent traders’ organisations so that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) council is apprised of our grievances,” he noted.

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