Srinagar: Concerned over the extended lockdown in Srinagar, especially in the Central Business District, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) has approached the Jammu and Kashmir government seeking opening of markets for all seven days a week.
The RAI, the apex body of retailers in India, having around 13,667 member establishments, and providing employment to around 43 million Indians, has shot a letter to the District Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Choudhary.
Assuring strict adherence to the SOPs as laid down by the government, the RAI sought respite for the shopkeepers.
As of now, the businesses are being allowed to operate on rotation basis only.
The RAI said that due to the lockdown, retailers and malls owners are facing huge setbacks in terms of payment of wages and rentals due to the extended lockdown.
It further said the closure of businesses has severely impacted the cash flows of the retailers who were already in a state of severe financial duress.
It feared that continuing with such lockdown could lead to “insurmountable job losses, giving a severe blow to the economy.”
“We recommend that organized retail shops and malls should be allowed to operate 7 days a week with strict guidelines which will serve a fourfold purpose restoring a sense of near-normalcy, which is the need of the hour in the state,” the RAI observed.
Earlier, the RAI’s core member from Kashmir and prominent businessman, Farhan Kitab had taken up the issue of Srinagar traders with the retailers association.