Traders’ body CAIT said on Sunday it has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a national policy for retail trade and formation of a separate ministry of internal trade.

In a statement, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said it has also suggested that foreign trade may be assigned to the Ministry of External Affairs instead of Ministry of Commerce, which is presently the nodal government department for it.

The traders’ body claimed that these steps will not only strengthen the domestic trade but also improve export performance of the country.

“It will be prudent if Foreign Trade is given to Ministry of External Affairs, which may regulate the foreign trade on the strength of its expertise and infrastructure in foreign matters,” CAIT said in the statement.

The body’s Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that domestic trade has remain neglected by every government and no focus is given to streamline the internal trade.

“It is regretted that internal trade was never on priority of any Government so far. AS per NSSO report, it consists of about 6.5 crore small businesses across the country thereby strengthening the economy… Despite such a magnificent contribution to economy and exchequer, no special attention has been given to this sector,” Khandelwal said.

He also argued that all other sectors of the economy like agriculture, industries, small industries, farmers etc have a national policy and a separate ministry but “unfortunately so far internal trade has been given a step motherly treatment in the country”.

“To ensure structured growth of internal trade, it is necessary to have a national policy for retail trade and formation of a separate ministry of internal trade to administer, regulate and monitor the domestic trade in India,” Khandelwal said.