Till a few years ago, Ahmedabad and Pune were considered to be â€˜graveyardsâ€™ for malls in the country. But circumstances may change, says the stateâ€™s urban development department. Gujarat plans to resurrect retail businesses with its own Retail Trade Policy. The industries and mines department is co-ordinating with nine departments and trade bodies to formulate the policy.
The focus of the proposed policy will be to carve out â€˜Retail and Entertainment Zonesâ€™ within Gujaratâ€™s cities and towns, ensure conducive tax environment for retail businesses (single and multi-brand), relax laws relating to labour, and frame parking and building bylaws to help set up large retail enterprises. The policy has also proposed the setting up of a regulatory framework for this sector.
The policy has even considered listing food and grocery businesses under â€œessential servicesâ€ to protect them from closures during bandhs. Gujarat will be the fourth state in India after Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra to formulate such a policy.
Some of the suggestions included in the policy document are: provision to allow retail enterprises to remain open for 365 days, functioning between 5 am and 11 pm; and allowing them to remain open between 11pm and 5am for logistics and supply purposes. To enhance the viability for retail centres, the policy plans to provide up to 50% additional FSI for development of retail and shopping centres over the base FSI.
Many malls failed to take off in Ahmedabad and other cities as they failed to follow a retail grammar,â€ says a senior urban development department official. Traditionally, builders sold shops in malls, without caring much for establishment maintenance. The footfalls plummeted massively.â€ He went on to say: â€œOn the flip side, builder-owned malls like Alpha and Gulmohar in Ahmedabad and Inorbit in Vadodara thrive as they have leased out shops to a variety of retailers.â€ This way customers have access to a variety of shops selling different products, he said. Shops unable to do brisk business are politely asked to wind up and leave, he said. â€œThe mall maintenance is the buildersâ€™ headache in such cases,â€ the official said.
The proposed retail policy has also mooted the plan to let women employees work up to 10 pm, with safety measures in place. The policyâ€™s draft promotes relaxation of labour laws under the Shops and Establishments Act with regard to working hours, work shifts, employment of part-time workers, and the maintenance of records.
News Source From : http://retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/e-commerce/e-tailing/new-policy-aims-to-revive-retail-biz/55244622
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