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09/08/2021 12:18pm

Delay in opening up malls & multiplexes in Maharashtra may spell doom for business & employees: RAI

image Delay in opening up malls & multiplexes in Maharashtra may spell doom for business & employees: RAI

New Delhi, Aug 9 (KNN) Retailers Association of India (RAI) on Monday urged the Maharashtra government to allow reopening of malls and multiplexes immediately, citing that any further delay in doing so would spell doom for businesses and employees associated with malls.

"The (Maharashtra) state government's attempts to return the state to normalcy in stages is appreciable. However, we hope they restart malls and multiplexes immediately as any further delay in doing so will spell doom for businesses and employees associated with malls," RAI CEO Kumar Rajagopalan said in a statement.

"During the prolonged closure, malls and retail businesses have continued to pay electricity charges, property tax, and various other taxes and license fees, despite zero revenues. Now their capacity to bear any further losses is over," he added.

We are hopeful that better sense prevails at the Chief Minister’s meeting with the Task Force and malls are allowed to operate. This will not only help save employment but will also pave the way for citizens to shop in a safe and sanitized environment, he said.

According to the retailers' body, malls in the state generate a business of Rs 40,000 crores and contribute Rs 4,000 crores in GST, per month.

The prolonged closures are impacting more than 2 lakh people employed in about 50 malls in the state. They are also impacting all the businesses associated with malls.

''On an average, a mall has 200 retail stores operating in it and over 5000 business entities associated with it as suppliers and vendors,'' RAI added.

RAI also said that there is a misconception that being air-conditioned spaces, malls could exacerbate the pandemic situation. There is no medical guideline or evidence that prohibits the use of air conditioners in view of the virus. Moreover, the belief that the virus can spread only through air-conditioned malls and not in any other closed air-conditioned establishments or airlines is not logical.

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