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02/09/2020 01:43pm

Retailers plead for relief to Commerce & Home Ministries from weekend lockdowns

image Retailers plead for relief to Commerce & Home Ministries from weekend lockdowns

New Delhi, Sep 2 (KNN) The Retailers Association of India (RAI) has sought intervention of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and West Bengal governments imposing local lockdowns despite Centre's directive against such steps under 'Unlock 4.0' guidelines.

Under the latest guidelines, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had asked states and union territories not to implement local lockdown, except in containment zones, without prior consultation with the Centre.

''However, despite the unlock 4.0, local authorities in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab continue to impose strict lockdowns on weekends, whereas West Bengal continues to impose partial lockdowns,'' RAI said in a statement on Tuesday.

RAI also said it has ''appealed to the DPIIT and MHA to urgently intervene and instruct these state governments to adhere the central government’s

Unlock 4.0 guidelines as any shutdowns should be very carefully calibrated to ensure a balance between lives and livelihoods.''

''A central focus rather than local level decisions is the need of the hour to ensure the industry and the country are able to chart a path to business continuity and economic recovery,'' it added.

“We need to get a more coordinated effort between states and the centre to see through this pandemic. We believe that states can help ensure that livelihoods are not jeopardised while lives are saved if they follow common protocol and do not impose localised shutdowns,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI.

''For retailers, over 45 per cent of the week’s entire business happens over the weekends (Sat-Sun) and such lockdowns are becoming a huge setback in the recovery of their businesses. They also dampen consumer sentiment,'' the retailers' body added.

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