Traders on Wednesday urged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to relax lockdown conditions and allow all the shops including non-essential items to reopen from June 1 for minimum 8 working hours a day.
In a memorandum, Traders United Forum of Maharashtra (TUFOM) has demanded waiver of fixed electricity charges for lockdown period, waiver of professional tax for 2 years, waiver of rent by local bodies till lockdown period is over and waiver of various license fees by local bodies for entire pandemic period and till the lockdown is completely over in Maharashtra.
In addition, it wants the government to grant concessions in property tax.
According to TUFOM, such sops are required as there is also imminent fear of losing businesses to other neighbouring states.
“These relief measures are much needed Oxygen for the trade which is lying on Ventilator at present due to the pandemic and lockdowns,” said Viren Shah, President of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association.
The Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry and Trade Chairman Mohan Gurnani said the shopkeepers need to strictly abide by all COVID protocols and government guidelines.
“Relaxation in lockdown restrictions will allow small traders to meet their commitments of salaries, Government dues, bank instalments and other financial dues. Needless to say, this will also bring much needed relief to daily wage workers who are presently deprived of their earnings due to closure of shops. The un lockdown and opening hours may be decided based on local requirements of each Municipal Corporation,” he noted.
Federation of Associations of Maharashtra president Vinesh Mehta said monsoon is just round the corner and it is imperative that shopkeepers get ample time to take care of their valuable goods lying in shops and take adequate precaution against flooding.
“With your hard efforts and efficient execution of corporations the positive cases have come down drastically and the doubling rate has gone up to 300+ days. This clearly indicates that the situation is now well under control. We compliment you and your government for the same,” said TUFOM in its memorandum.