Karnataka Releases Retail Trade Policy

2019 ias preliminary exam test series

The Karnataka Cabinet approved a new retail trade policy in order to promote investments in retail trade and employment creation.

Karnataka’s policy follows similar policies in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh , notified last year and this year, respectively.

july current affairsThe Karnataka government has formulated the policy after getting the inputs and opinions from the retail trade organisations and government departments.

The Cabinet has decided to give industry status to retail enterprises in order to promote more investment in retail activity .

The policy titled Karnataka Retail Trade Policy 2016 aims at attracting new investments including FDI and creating additional employment opportunities exclusively in retail sector.

The new policy will also focus on simplification of labour laws and processes and skill development support.

The new policy will ensure ease of business for retailers through a single-window system, online registration for permissions, relaxing labour rules regarding working hours and shifts.

It would also relax the stocking limits for essential commodities prescribed under Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and allow retail stores to stock essential commodities.

The new policy would allow the retail sector to operate 365 days a year from 5 am to 11 pm and allow recruitment of women staff to work under night shifts on certain conditions.

Retail businesses will be allowed to keep their shops open from 5 am to 11 pm. Retailers may also employ women beyond 8.30 pm under the Karnataka retail trade policy.

The neighbourhood grocery, saloons, darshini eateries and garment shops will soon be able to operate till 11 pm.

Currently, shops selling in retail, goods and services directly to the consumer are allowed to operate from 6 am to 9 pm only. The Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1961 will be amended to incorporate the new provisions.

The policy also provides for bringing food and grocery under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), which will require shops selling food items and groceries to remain open during strikes and bandhs. Currently, only milk supply and pharmacies come under the Act.

Permission to employ women beyond 8.30 pm will, however, be granted on a case-to-case basis keeping in view safety parameters.

The new policy is aimed at promoting retail business as well as protecting the interests of the consumers.

Running a retail business will be made easier by simplifying procedures such as renewal of licenses and introducing self-certification scheme. Necessary amendments will be made to the Shops and Commercial Establishments Act

A single-window system will be introduced for the benefit of retail business.

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