National

CAIT says 4.5 cr shops open across India; urges Delhi govt to reconsider odd-even plan

PTI New Delhi | Updated on May 19, 2020 Published on May 19, 2020

Traders’ body CAIT said around 4.5 crore shops opened across the country on Tuesday and called for a sanitisation drive by municipal corporations to ensure cleanliness of the markets.

In a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Anil Baijal, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) urged them to reconsider the odd-even formula for shop opening, observing that only 5 lakh shops could open in city owing to the arrangement.

CAIT, however, said no business occurred in commercial markets across the country including Delhi as traders opened their shops after a long period owing to the lockdown; and therefore, were engaged in cleaning and sanitisation.

It also cited acute shortage of workers engaged in shops, saying more than 70 per cent of the workforce has migrated to their native villages.

“Most of the traders in the city and trade associations are not in favour of the odd-even formula. Traders believe that this will restrict complete opening of shops in a comprehensive manner and will cause great inconvenience to the traders,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said.

He suggested that markets in Delhi should be divided into 10 parts, out of which five parts should be opened from 8 am to 1 pm, while the remaining five parts should be opened from 1 pm to 5 pm or alternate day of opening of shops could be another choice to consider.

“Across the country, about 4.5 crore shops opened today (Tuesday) but due to the odd-even system in Delhi, only about 5 lakh shops having odd numbers could open whereas the shops having even numbers will open tomorrow (Wednesday),” CAIT said.

Khandelwal said considering the accumulation of dust and other viruses including corona, it is likely that it will take at least a week for the shops to be completely cleaned.

He said the goods kept in many shops were spoilt and rotten while mice spoiled the stocks in cloth and fabric shops.

Khandelwal noted that although traders in Delhi opened their shops under the odd-even system, a majority of them “are not appreciating this system which will pose several difficulties in compliance”.

The wholesale market of Delhi is in a crowded area and majority of buildings have many shops. There is confusion among the traders about whether the building number is considered as odd-even number or the shops which are inside the building having private numbers will be considered for opening the shops, he said.

On the other hand, it will be a very strange situation for the customers as different shops sell different types of merchandise, so if the customer comes to the market in a day he would probably be deprived of the choice, Khandelwal argued.

Published on May 19, 2020

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