Budget 2022: RAI says there is a need for ECLGS for commercial establishments

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NEW DELHI: Retailer RAI’s body said on Tuesday there was a need for the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for business establishments in the sector, which have been hit by the restrictions related to Covid-19.
In its budget wish list, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) also said more money needed to be put in the hands of the poor and wage-earners as two years of the pandemic have affected many people in the most poor of the population.
“The ECLGS for Retail Finance needs to be announced as most of the closures impact high-touch sectors like restaurants, stores, salons, etc.,” said the chief executive of the RAI, Kumar Rajagopalan, in a statement.
While the retail sector was recently included in the priority lending guidelines under the MSME framework, he said: “It is important that the sector gets all the support that MSME policies (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) grant, because more than 90% of the retail trade can be classified and MSME.”
Calling to support retail with a digitization policy, Rajagopalan said retailers need to digitize faster and prepare for e-commerce.
“Financial support for digitization can help to better energize the sector. In addition, a directional focus to enable retailers through the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) will give a big boost to the sector,” he said. he adds.
Seeking better direction for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), RAI said any increase in GST on clothing, food and accommodation creates a direct impact on consumption.
“A move towards a more predictable GST regime will be welcome. Likewise, many clauses around GST deferral and refund need to be clarified,” Rajagopalan said, adding that directional support for policy creation national for retail and domestic trade will help.
Calling for more money in the hands of the poor and wage earners, RAI said the two years of the coronavirus pandemic have affected many people in the poorest part of the population.
“Many were out of work thanks to reverse migration and lockdowns. Any program that helps increase the purchasing power of the poor will be welcome,” Rajagopalan said.
Likewise, the working class of the population also needs to have more money in their hands to help them consume with confidence.
“Rising inflation is a concern, and it can’t be better tackled than with more money in the hands of the consumer class,” he said.
RAI also called for better spending on infrastructure, as all transport infrastructure works help create new jobs and create better logistical connectivity for the movement of goods and people, while any spending on new energy sources helps retailers access electricity at better prices.
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