Shutting down of markets is a rumour, says CAIT

PUNE: Amid various rumours of closure of markets in Delhi and other States of the country, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the apex body of business community of the country clarified that so far no Trade Association has taken any decision to close the markets in the wake of coronavirus.

“The Government is taking various steps in combating COVID-19 at the front and therefore any decision of such closure can be taken in consultation with Government, other Agencies and with trade leaders of each State including Delhi. However, if Government takes any such decision, the traders will comply with the same,” a release form CAIT said.

CAIT National President B.C.Bhartia & Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that trade leaders will consider all pros & cons of any shutdown of the markets as the shops of the traders are first point contact for 130 crore people for meeting their requirements.

“There are about 7 crore traders in the Country providing employment to nearly 45 crore people and as such any decision of closure of shops will be taken after due consideration. In Delhi, there are about 15 lakh small and big traders who are vetting to the requirements of 1.25 crore people of Delhi,” it said.

Both Bhartia & Khandelwal said that closure of physical markets is not the only solution unless sales of e commerce platforms are also banned as the possibility of infection in goods delivered by e commerce companies can not be ruled out. “Even the delivery boys of the e commerce companies visit several places in the day to deliver the goods mostly to unknown people and no one knows when they get infected by any person suffering with virus. Therefore, closure of e commerce sales is all the more much required,” said CAIT.

However, both Bhartia & Khandelwal said that fear of corona virus has gripped the commercial markets and people of all walks of life are beginning to feel its impact. The footfall of the customers is going down each day precisely because of prevailing panic & fear. Delhi is the largest centre for distribution of trade in the Country. About 5 lakh traders from other states visit Delhi daily for procurement for their stores. This number of 5 lakh has gone down considerably to about one lakh and general consumer is avoiding visiting market.

“As of now, there is no dearth of material lying in the supply chain as most of the importers and the traders across Country generally keep a buffer stock of 45-60 days and as of now, the supply chain is fully geared up with abundant of material and it is hoped that for next 15-20 days, the supply chain will be able to deliver goods. It is only after 15 days, the heat may be felt,” the release said.

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