The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways Piyush Goyal has exhorted the traders community to fully contribute towards the Aatamnirbhar Bharat campaign. Speaking to the traders’ fraternity on the occasion of the National traders’ day today through virtual interaction, he said that they should undertake Customer Awareness drive to make people buy make in India goods. He also called upon them to act as the whistleblowers, in exposing the unscrupulous traders and businessmen who are hell-bent on importing poor-quality goods from unfriendly countries.
Goyal said that Trading community will benefit a lot from the AatamNirbhar Bharat campaign, as good quality products made in India will usher in economies of scale, thereby lowering prices, and also making our products competitive in the international markets. This will lead to more employment opportunities and prosperity of the people and more purchasing power. He said that the Government has already put restrictions on many imported items, which can be easily produced in the country like Agarbati, Sports goods, TV, telephone, Tyres etc. He estimated that almost 10 lakh crore worth of imports can be easily substituted with the indigenously produced goods. He asked the traders to push for the PM’s clarion call for “Vocal for Local”.
Goyal lauded the role of traders during the Covid pandemic, and particularly the lockdown period, by rising to the occasion, and ensuring the availability of essential goods in every nook and corner of the country. He said that Prime Minister has also recognized the important role played by the traders in the difficult times, and mentioned the same in maan ki baat. He said that traders have acted as important bridge between the consumers and producers.
The Minister called upon the traders to constitute teams which can gather suggestions from various parts of the country, and also fromdifferent trades. He said that One size does not fit all and hence specific recommendations should be made. The Government will take a very sympathetic and considerate call on such recommendations. He said that online issue of licences, online payments of licence fee, longer tenure of licences, decriminalization of laws, ending discretionary powers of the law-enforcing agencies, and simplification of rules are the genuine demands of the traders. He however cautioned the community to identify and isolate the elements within which resort to malpractices and give a bad name to the fraternity, by misusing the benefits and relaxations provided by the authorities.
The Minister, assuring full support to the trading community, said that the Government has announced various initiatives for their relief, including many in the recently announced AatamNirbhar scheme. He said that Railways has also taken many initiatives, including running of parcel trains, kisan train, speeder movement of goods trains, upgradation of goods shed, Opening of Business development Cells in various Railway offices, which will help in easier and cheaper movement of goods.
Goyal assured the fraternity that National Traders Welfare Board will be soon constituted. He called upon the traders to add their employees also in Traders pension Scheme. The Minister also invited the traders to join the GeM, the Government procurement portal.