Accord industry status to the retail sector, urges CMAI


28 February 2024, Mumbai

The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) has urged the government to accord industry status to the retail sector, emphasising the need for streamlining the foreign direct investment (FDI) policies particularly in single-brand retail.

Discussions at a closed-door meeting attended by top retailers such as Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, Bestseller, Biba, TCNS Clothing, Shoppers Stop, and government representatives including Rohit Kansal from the Ministry of Textiles, centered around the potential and challenges of the retail industry in India.


Rahul Mehta, Chief Mentor, CMAI, highlighted, there is a unanimous desire among stakeholders for the retail sector to be recognised as an industry. Currently subject to varying state regulations, It is important for the central government to standardise policies and decision-making processes, he added. The retail industry needs to be treated on par with manufacturing industries, enabling more cohesive policymaking and support mechanisms, he added further

The meeting also raised concerns over the complexities surrounding FDI regulations, particularly for single-brand retailers operating multiple brands. The cumbersome process of obtaining licenses and establishing multiple entities was identified as a barrier to foreign retailers seeking to enter the Indian market.


In response to these challenges, CMAI said, it intends to submit a white paper to the government outlining industry obstacles and proposing measures to enhance the ease of doing business for retailers. Additionally, the association advocated the establishment of a retail upgradation fund to support the expansion of small brands' into smaller towns and cities.


Deloitte's 2023 report estimates, valued at $930 billion in 2022, India’s retail market is projected to grow to $1,930 billion by 2030. Against this backdrop, the call for industry status and policy reform underscores the sector's pivotal role in India's economic landscape.

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