States urged to allow all retail segments to be open

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 09, 2021

With nearly ten States imposing some form of restrictions to tackle the rising Covid cases, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) has urged State governments to allow all forms of retail, including non-essential stores, to remain open.

Stating that shutting down non-essential retail and malls is not the solution, RAI said there is urgent need for stricter surveillance to ensure compliance with regards to safety and hygiene, social distancing and use of face masks are being followed.

While Maharashtra has asked all non-essential retail stores to remain shut till April 30, other States are imposing night curfews or localised lockdowns hampering operations of non-essential stores.

The retail industry body said that modern retail stores has been diligently following stringent safety protocols since the start of the pandemic and added that they are in sync with the government guidelines.

‘Punish non-compliance’

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India, said, “We need a centralised framework that allows for the non-discriminatory operations of all formats of retail and time-bound resolutions. Punish those who are defaulting the safety norms, take strict action. Complete shutting down of retail, other than essentials, will not solve any problem. Businesses are struggling again, while millions of jobs are at stake.”

‘Vaccinate do not shut’

Retailers Association of India (RAI) has also suggested prioritising vaccination of the retail frontline workers as a better way to curb the pandemic than to shut businesses.

Published on April 09, 2021

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