Indian retailers and wholesalers will now come under MSME sector, says Nitin Gadkari
In a major relief to the Indian retail and wholesale traders, Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Nitin Gadkari, on Friday announced their inclusion under the MSME sector.
In a tweet, the minister said, "Retail and wholesale trade were left out of the ambit of MSME. Under the revised guidelines, MSME has issued order to include retail and wholesale trade as MSME and extending to them the benefit of priority sector lending under RBI guidelines."
With this development, Indian retailers and wholesalers can now register on the Udyam Registration Portal, along with the small and medium businesses. They can also apply and avail various schemes and relief packages the Indian government has rolled out for the SMB sector.
The revised guidelines will benefit 2.5 crore traders from the community, the minister said in a separate tweet.
The move was welcomed by the community, which has been struggling to cope with the COVID-19 impact that hit India last year.
In a statement, Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), said, "We thank Hon’ble Minister - MSME, Shri Nitin Gadkari, for giving a patient ear to RAI to understand the plight of MSME retailers and delivering on the assurance he gave us during our virtual meet last year."
He added, "This landmark decision will have a structural impact for the sector, helping it get formalised by giving better finance options for businesses that want to get structured. It will give retail MSMEs the support they need to survive, revive, and thrive.”
According to the 16th edition of the ‘Retail Business Survey’ by RAI, the May 2021 sales of the retail industry — which contributes 10 percent to the nation’s GDP — recorded a significant decline of 79 percent as compared with pre-COVID level sales of May 2019, following the closure of retail businesses across the country.