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Last Updated : Mar 25, 2020 01:27 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Coronavirus impact: Retailers Association urges govt to open up essential stores in malls

RAI has written to the Reserve Bank of India, the State Bank of India and the Chief Ministers of all the States urgently requesting an immediate economic stimulus to ensure continuity of retail businesses and consumption in India

Representative image
Representative image

Given the lockdown across India, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) has requested all state governments of the country to allow all food and grocery stores within malls or outside to stay open during the lockdown period.


The order directs all kinds of stores to stay open including air-conditioned, non-air-conditioned, small or large size stores.


Most of the state governments have agreed with RAI’s view that shutting of supermarkets will cause gross inconvenience to citizens and may set off panic buying of daily need items in the state, thereby creating a shortage for the needy.


However, due to the mandatory closure of malls and retail stores across states, retailers are facing imminent financial crisis/insolvency.


As a result, the livelihood of millions employed in the retail industry is in peril.


RAI has called the Government’s attention to the possibility that the Covid-19 pandemic could last longer than the lockdown period.


“We have asked for the necessary urgent steps by the Government to work on an immediate solution (60 days) as well as a medium-term solution (180 Days),” said Kumar Rajagopalan, Chief Executive Officer of Retailers Association of India (RAI).


RAI has submitted representations to the Prime Minister’s Office, Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT), the Commerce Ministry, and the Finance Ministry to help the retail industry cope with the detrimental effects on the business in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.


RAI has also written to the Reserve Bank of India, the State Bank of India and the Chief Ministers of all the States urgently requesting an immediate economic stimulus to ensure continuity of retail businesses and consumption in India.


The association has also asked for various fiscal supports like moratorium of 120 days for payment of instalments and interest of term loans, short-term loans, corporate loans, securitised loans, bonds, mortgages, debentures and general-purpose loans effective from March 1 to June 30, 2020.


It has also requested for wages subsidy, subsidy on utility bills, an extension of the due date of compliances and payment of statutory dues like Advance Tax, GST, ESIC, PF, etc. for payments falling due between March 1-June 30, 2020.


Nearly 540 coronavirus cases have been reported in India so far, with 10 deaths in India.

The death toll from the virus globally has risen to 16,559 with 381,598 cases reported in 168 countries and territories.



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First Published on Mar 25, 2020 01:27 pm
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