Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh): Mobile phone shopkeepers reached out to the government seeking a relief package including moratorium on loans, Covid-19 insurance and collateral free loans to support the community pained by shutdown in retail.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the All India Mobile Retailers’ Association (AIMRA) has urged him to extend relief measures such as interest free moratorium for six months, collateral free loans between Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1 crore with minimum interest and Covid-19 insurance worth Rs 50 lakh at minimum premium.
The body has also sought a stimulus package for retailers to meet their standing expenses and ensure priority vaccination of retailers as frontline workers.
Retailers stated that mobile phone business is being pushed to the edge of bankruptcy due to outstanding expenses like rentals, electricity bills, bank interest and taxes etc due to absence of rotation in the money cycle. Besides, the uninterrupted delivery of non-essential goods by e-commerce companies has created a non level-playing field driving away sales from the offline channel.
Ujjain’s Mukkadas Shaikh, who is president of AIMRA’s Madhya Pradesh unit, in his letter said, “As while retail remains closed in lockdown, these retailers are selling and delivering non-essential products creating an opportunity to win customers, reducing retail demand forcing them to shut down which may lead to huge unemployment.”
The body, representing close to 1.5 lakh independent mobile phone retailers across the country, has reiterated its stance of not treating mobile phones as essentials as opposed to the demand of phone brands and e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart.