The Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry has sought a ‘retail trade policy’ for Kerala to support the trading community.
In a face-to-face with Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, the chamber president K Harikumar said that the retail trading community has struggled during floods and the Covid pandemic. He sought a policy, amending the provisions of Shops and Establishment Act, where in only establishments with more than 10 employees need to be registered as in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and to extend the validity of registration to 10 years as in Maharashtra or till it is revoked as in Odisha and do away with yearly registration requirements.
Lauding the reforms brought in to bring in ease of doing business, the Chamber requested the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitive Index to be adopted at the State level so that mid-course corrections can be brought in if required and the State can benchmark its growth.
Mandatory participation and structural consultation of stakeholders in industry policy formulation also has been sought for by the Chamber so that the concerns of trade and industry get addressed at the policy stage itself.
As MSMEs employ more than 45 lakh people in Kerala, the Chamber urged the government to set up an Industrial Clinic to rehabilitate sick MSMEs by offering financial and consultancy support by setting up a Fintech driven NBFC with equity participation by the State government, Centre, financial institutions and MSMEs to offer consultancy support. This model has been adopted by Telangana and is working well there.
The Chamber also called for introducing an Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum in Classes 9 to 12, like in Delhi to change the people from job seekers to job creators.