Retailers Association of India (RAI) has appealed to the Maharashtra State Government to allow malls & shopping centres to operate at par with stand-alone shops and markets, and serve citizens in a safe and controlled environment. In its appeal, RAI has requested the State Government to open up Malls in Maharashtra to save employment, the economy, and the citizens’ right to safe shopping.
Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), said, “Formal retail spaces such as malls and shopping centres play an important role in the economy due to their contribution to the exchequer in the form of taxes and the people they employ. The Delhi and Haryana government have supported the ecosystem by opening up malls along with other markets.
"We request the Government of Maharashtra to extend their support too. This will not only help save employment but will also pave the way for citizens to shop in a safe and sanitized environment. Malls can handle crowds more efficiently than markets and hence should be allowed to operate at par with other shops and markets.”
Economic revival is intertwined with the revival of retail businesses especially large formal retail spaces, which are the drivers of consumption. Malls are important for the economy and consumers alike as each mall employs over 4,500 people, accounts for Rs 10,000+ crore of business and Rs 1,000+ crore of GST. It is estimated that there are 50 malls in Maharashtra covering an area over 2 crore sq. ft.
Malls have been strictly following all Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on preventive measures issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, to ensure the safety of the staff & citizens. At the onset of the pandemic, RAI had formulated detailed and comprehensive guidelines that have been strictly being followed by members to curb the spread of the virus.