Coronavirus: Retail trade lost Rs 3.15 lakh Cr during lockdown; support PM on extension, says CAIT
The retail trade has suffered a loss of Rs 3.15 lakh crore during the lockdown, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said on Tuesday, even as it "strongly supported" Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to extend the curbs to fight coronavirus.
CAIT has also assured the government that the traders will continue to run the supply chain of essential goods in a "most efficient and effective" manner so that citizens do not face any difficulty.
CAIT National President B C Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said in a statement that there are about seven crore traders in the country, of which about 1.5 crore traders deal in essential commodities but only 40 lakh of them have been able to continue operations because of difficulties in obtaining passes from the authorities and also non-availability of transport.
"On the other hand, nearly 80 percent of the employees of traders have migrated to their villages at the time of earlier lockdown while only 20 percent of employees are working with traders for supply of essential goods," according to the statement.
CAIT's Delhi NCR unit Convener Sushil Kumar Jain said the traders' community "strongly supports" the Prime Minister's decision to continue the lockdown in the country.
"It is a logical and extremely important step desired under the present circumstances due to COVID-19 and we have assured Prime Minister that the traders under any circumstances will continue to run supply chain of essential goods in a most efficient and effective manner so that citizens of the country may not face any difficulty in obtaining essential commodities," CAIT said.
"Due to the lock down of the past 21 days in the country, the retail trade has suffered a loss of business to the tune of Rs 3.15 lakh crores," it added.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced that the current lockdown will be extended till May 3, saying it is necessary to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
He said detailed guidelines on implementation of the new lockdown will be announced on Wednesday, and some relaxations may be allowed after April 20 in places where there are no hotspots.