Over two lakhs jobs impacted due to mall closures in Maharashtra: RAI
Mumbai, Jul 28 (KNN) The Retailers Association of India (RAI) on Wednesday said the prolonged closures of malls in Maharashtra due to COVID-19 have impacted around 2 lakh jobs.
The retailers' body also urged the state government to allow malls to operate with necessary safeguards.
''Malls in Maharashtra continue to remain padlocked. The prolonged closure of malls has put the entire ecosystem in serious jeopardy and not only hurting businesses but also livelihoods of people working there,'' RAI said in a statement.
According to RAI, the prolonged closures have impacted the estimated 50 malls in Maharashtra that employ more than 2 lakh people, generate a business of Rs 40,000 crores and contribute Rs 4,000 crores in GST, per month.
''It has also afflicted 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. Restarting malls will help ensure the survival of this ecosystem,'' it added.
“It is important that the Maharashtra government considers reopening of formal retail spaces such as malls and shopping centres at the earliest as they are centres of significant economic activity. In addition to contributing to the exchequer in the form of taxes, they support several livelihoods, including those of vendors, retailers and employees,'' said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI.
Rajagopalan also said that the Delhi and Haryana governments have set an example by reopening malls along with other markets, adding, ''We request the Government of Maharashtra to do the same.''
He further said that this will not only help save jobs and businesses but will also pave the way for citizens to shop in a safe and sanitized environment.
Malls have the ability to handle crowds more efficiently and safely than markets and hence should be allowed to operate along with stand-alone shops and markets,” he said.
As per the RAI, malls have been diligently following all Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on preventive measures issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, to ensure the safety of the staff & citizens.
''Malls associated with RAI have also been adhering to the detailed & comprehensive SOPs formulated by RAI to curb the spread of the virus. These SOPs are based on the framework of guidelines endorsed by the Indian Medical Association,'' RAI asserted.