Mumbai: Traders demand ‘flexitime’ for all non-essential shops

Traders are not happy with the Maharashtra government’s order of allowing non-essential shops to function on alternate days. Traders’ bodies including Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry and Trade, Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, Steel Users Federation of India, Federation of Associations of Maharashtra and The Mumbai Grain Dealers Association have urged the state government to introduce flexibility in timing and remove alternate day formula for non-essential shops.

They have said the first day first show was a flop with poor entry of customers amid confusion over timing and alternate day formula.

Former MP Milind Deora, who has extended his support to traders, in a tweet said, ‘’I spoke to the Chief Secretary and BMC Commissioner about allowing non-essential shops to open Monday-Friday from 11 am to 6 pm. BMC can review weekends later. Mumbai’s retail sector is devastated. Nearly, 3 lakh non-essential shops impact livelihood of 15 lakh families.’’

Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association President Viren Shah thanked Deora for taking up traders’ cause with the state government and the BMC. He said that Congress is a part of the government and therefore hopeful that it will listen to Deora.

Shah said, “There is a confusion over the alternate days. The local police and BMC ward officers were clueless. Business was negligible. The Federation has appealed to the state government to reconsider the alternate timing formula for non-essential shops as they should be allowed to work for five days without any restrictions.’’

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