Visakhapatnam: Andhra Pradesh Government on Monday unveiled a `Retail Trade Policy' that allows enterprises greater flexibility in terms of open hours, engaging part time employees and removal of stock limits for essential items besides providing a slew of sops to the sector, where it seeks to attract Rs 5,000-crore investments by 2020.
Touted as the first-of-its-kind policy in the country to have been attempted by any state, the policy offers various incentives and the ease of doing business applicable to other industries.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced the policy on the sidelines of CII Partnership Summit here.
Under the policy, retail enterprises can now stay open seven days a week from 0600 hours to 2300 hours, and employ people on an hourly basis though their number should not exceed 25 percent of the total employees of a firm.
Retail chains will now be allowed to generate e-bills for customers in place of physical receipts.
The distribution centres and warehouses of retail enterprises are not only allowed to function round-the-clock but also declared a public utility under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 in order to prevent strikes.
The Government, through its nodal agency Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), will allot land for setting up distribution centres as well as warehouses under the commercial category for a period of 33 years.
While the Government extended the existing single desk policy of approvals for all retail firms irrespective of their size, the policy has provided tailor-made incentives for mega enterprises, which are defined as the projects that come with an investment of at least Rs 100 crore or those that can directly employ 2,000 people.
Andhra Pradesh constitutes about 8 percent of the total retail market of 13 million stores. The policy seeks to attract Rs 5,000 crore investments in retail sector by 2020.