New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Friday estimated that Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted a loss of about Rs 19 lakh crore to India’s retail industry in the past five-months.
The confederation said that these estimates are collected from figures received from 20 major cities in various states.
Consequently, CAIT appealed to Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman to advise banks “not to charge any interest or penalty from traders for the time being”.
“If government can condone the loans of certain sectors, we the traders of India are simply demanding to off load us from bank interests and other liabilities for the time being,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal was quoted as saying in a statement.
According to Khandelwal, the pandemic had resulted in great turmoil for domestic trade to the extent that even after ‘Unlock-4’, traders across the country are “highly depressed”.
“The entire retail trade, which is often called a growth engine of the economy is in great dilemma never seen before,” CAIT said in the statement.
“The retail market is gripped with acute financial crisis as even the supplies made in November-December, the payment of which was to be released in February-March is still pending and there is no hope of its early realisation.”
Khandelwal added that domestic trade is passing through its worst period in the current century.
“If immediate steps are not taken about 20 per cent of the shops in India will have to close down their shutters and it will give rise to unemployment in the country,” he said.
“The retail trade is subject to various onslaughts from all the corners and there seems to be no way to come out from this vicious circle created by Covid.”