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Retail, wholesale traders left out of MSME Act: Chamber

Agrofood Chamber of Commerce and Industry president S. Rethinavelu has expressed his disappointment over retail and wholesale traders excluded from the purview of MSME Development Act.

In a press release, he said that there were more than seven crore retail and wholesale traders in organised and unorganised sectors in India. Though they were among the major contributors to the country’s economy, their welfare was not given importance.

The Union government had recently included retail and wholesale traders under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) classification. But this was only to make them eligible for priority sector advances by banks and financial institutions, that too with the objective of helping Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) to achieve Priority Sector Lending (PSL) target of 75% of its net credit by 2024.

The definition of ‘enterprise’ in MSME Development Act, 2006, should be appropriately amended to bring trading establishments also under its ambit so that the traders would be able to get all the benefits of the Act. This Act was presently enjoyed only by manufacturers of goods and service providers.

The denial of such benefit to the traders was detrimental to their growth. The privilege of filing cases before the Micro and Small Enterprises Facilitation Council should be extended to traders also.

The State government must impress upon the Union government to include retail and wholesale traders also in the MSMED Act, he said.