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Allow us to open our shops: Petty retailers to government

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 13, 2020

Lockdown effect: The closure of small shops has completely stopped their income.   -  THE HINDU

Micro/petty retailers such as paan shops have urged the government to allow them to operate amid the lockdown.

The Federation of Retailers Association of India (FRAI), a representative body of about four crore micro, small and medium retailers, said on Monday the closure of such small shops has completely stopped their income. “While big grocery shops selling essential commodities are allowed to operate during the lockdown, why should our small shopkeepers, who also sell similar goods of daily needs, be deprived their livelihood?” it asked.

Stating that it represents the interests of the poor, the FRAI said its members sell items which are in demand, such as biscuits, soft drinks, mineral water, cigarettes, bidi and paan.

“The profit of these micro retailers works out to about ₹15,000 per month, which is barely adequate to feed their families two square meals a day,” it said.

The capital of these small retailers is tied up in the stocks of essential products that remain unsold in their shops because of the lockdown. They are now forced to dip into their small savings, it added.

FRAI President Ram Asre Mishra said: “We would humbly like to appeal to the Prime Minister to kindly empathise with the hardships being faced by our poor and helpless members and allow them to open their shops immediately.” He also urged the government to announce an economic package to compensate them for their losses, under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

Published on April 13, 2020

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