Shops closed in MBMC/ File
Shops closed in MBMC/ File
Photo: Suresh Golani

About 25 lakh traders in Maharashtra are confused if there is a complete lockdown starting from 8 pm of April 5th (yesterday) to April 30th or partial. Along with the lack of clarity, there is fear of economic loss among the traders, stated the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

In a communication sent to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, CAIT has suggested that the shops should not be shut down completely but allowed to function in limited timings.

The fear among other traders across the country is that other states will adopt lockdown measures like Maharashtra as the COVID-19 cases rise in various states. CAIT, National President, BC Bhartia and Secretary-General, Praveen Khandelwal were hoping if suggestions of trade associations were taken before taking any such decision.

In addition, CAIT stated COVID-19 needs to be dealt with in the most expeditious manner. However, the economic impact of such a lockdown should not be overlooked.

CAIT suggested that instead of full lockdown, the shop timings should be reduced from 11 am to 5 pm. This should be in cooperation with trade associations. So that extra efforts may be planned to maintain COVID-19 safety protocols at all levels. Entry and exit points of each market may be regulated with the deployment of extra watch and ward staff by the respective trade associations.

Bhartia said that during the lockdown, the role of supply chain manned by the traders assumes much significance. Khandelwal added this is mainly because the population of the state or the country largely depends upon the traders for the seamless supply of essential commodities.

CAIT assuring utmost cooperation from the trading community have sought a meeting with Maharashtra CM Udhav Thackrey and other senior officials on this issue.

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