Although the subcommittees had been assigned to complete their work within two months, or by mid-November, the Commerce Ministry submitted the draft to the Cabinet on Tuesday without prior notification, Thanapon said.
Official notification of the representatives' withdrawal was submitted to Internal Trade Department director-general Yangyong Phuangrach on Thursday.
"The submission to the Cabinet was so sudden, even though the subcommittees had not yet completed their tasks. This has caused confusion regarding the ministry's stand. We are thus ending our role, as earlier there was an agreement that all data would be finalised so that no further studies would be necessary after the draft's submission to the Cabinet," Thanapon said.
He said that since the objective had changed, the association would end its role after having poured in resources.
Thanapon said the proposed law alone would not help mom-and-pop businesses survive amid rapid expansion by giant retailers and the government should come up with concrete measures to help small retailers, possibly through financial aid and tax breaks.
He insisted that given the present economic conditions, this was not the right time to push for the Act, because as it was now written, it could actually worsen investment sentiment.