TRADERS DEMAND INDIA AS A FREE TRADE ZONE IN PRE BUDGET MEMO
MOOTED NEED FOR NATIONAL TRADE POLICY FOR RETAIL TRADE
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), apex body of the trading community, in its pre-budget memorandum submitted to Union Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram, has called for a Ministry of Internal Trade both at Centre and the States besides demanding a National Policy for Internal Trade of the Country. The CAIT on the other hand has also demanded enactment of a Small and Medium Retailers Act ( SMRA) on the pattern of Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises Act in order to protect the traders from various onslaughts from different quarters. While agreeing with the report of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Retail Trade tabled in the Parliament on 8th June,2009, the CAIT has advocated a blanket ban on entry of big corporate houses and MNCs in retail Trade. The increasing trend in collection of indirect taxes has necessiated the formation of an Independent Indirect Tax Board also-said CAIT.
CAIT National President Mr. B. C. Bhartia and Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal informed that in its memorandum, the CAIT has also called for an early roadmap on Goods and Services Tax (GST) with its baisc fundamentals of single tax regime with uniform act, rules and regulations across the Country.It has also demanded the phasing out of Central Sales Tax to zero from April, 2013 as per phasing out plan of the Central Government to abolish CST by year 2010.which is over delayed for three years . The CAIT has said that Better Banking facilities to Traders should be ensured & easy loan facility from Banks at Primary sector lending rate may be allowed for traders.
The CAIT has also demanded increase in Cash Payment limit from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 50,000 as the said limit was fixed in the year 1997 and till than the price index has increased considerably. Refering to the grave shortage of Banks, it has demanded the Government to set up a Panel of officials and trade representatives to draw out modalities of opening new banks and making them efficient to render best possible services. The CAIT has also advocated a special package to traders engaged in Educational and Health Sector so as to deliver their best to the citizens.
The CAIT has demanded India to be developed as a Free Trade Zone by allowing free Inter-State Movement of goods by abolishing all kind of Road Permits & Entry Forms in Inter-State Trade. The CAIT has drawn the attention of the Government towards laws and rules governing domestic trade which are decades old and most of them either need to be abrogated or require amendments. The CAIT has, therefore, demanded the Government to constitute a Joint Committee of Officials and Traders to make an indepth study of such laws and to make recommendations
In its memorandum, the CAIT has demanded that like Free Trade Zone and Special Economic Zone the Govt. should also create Rural Economic Zone for small traders operating their business activities in rural areas. Such Rural Economic Zones should be exempted for a period of five years from all the complexities of various Acts and laws in order to boost trade and development of rural areas in the Country. The CAIT has also demanded a pension scheme for the traders by suggesting that a part of the tax paid by the assesses should by invested in pension fund/schemes by the Government and the proceeds thereof should be provided to the assesses after attaining the age of 60 years.The CAIT has also demanded increase in the limit of exemption in Income Tax and suggested that the limit should be raised suitably, in a rational manner, by also taking into account the factors which formed yardstick in recommendation of 6thPay Commission for salary to Govt. employees.