Traders have strongly urged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to increase the timing that non-essential shops can operate to 8pm across Maharashtra. They have opposed the state government’s new unlock order, whereby all districts have been brought under Level 3 curbs and the timing of nonessential shops has been curtailed to 4pm.
Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA) has said it appreciates the state government’s cautious approach, keeping in mind the emergence of a new delta plus variant of COVID-19, possibility of a third wave, and the need to complete the vaccination drive by July for the safety of people.
“At this juncture, to revive the economy, we can only suggest to allow non-essential shops to operate till 8 pm. We are fine if non-essential shops open from 11am up to 8pm across Maharashtra. This will be a level playing field to compete with e-commerce, as they can operate around the clock. The timing till 4pm is not practical, as the footfall is better after 11 am and during evening hours. This will facilitate optimum business to pay rent, salary and overheads,” noted Viren Shah, president of FRTWA.