New Delhi: In support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for Janata curfew, more than 7 crore traders across the country, led by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAT), closed their businesses on Sunday and nearly 40 crore of their employees stay at their homes and participated in Janta curfew.
About 60,000 commercial markets all over the country remained completely with no business activities. Joining hands with CAIT, about one crore transporters, 4 crore hawkers and about 2 crore small scale industries refrained from any kind of business activities. Along with CAIT, other national organisations of retail sector including All India Motor Transport Welfare Association, National Hawkers Federation, Laghu Udyog Bharti, MSME Development Forum, All India Ladies Entrepreneurs Association, All India Motor Transport Congress, Bharatiya Kisan Manch etc also participated in Janta curfew. The one-day Bandh caused a business loss of about Rs.15 thousand crores to the domestic trade of India.
The three-day Trade Bandh call of Delhi traders by CAIT connected into Janta curfew and all major and big markets of Delhi remained completely closed and there were no business activities in Delhi.The Delhi Trade Bandh will continue on Monday and same evening the trade leaders of Delhi will decide the future action.
CAIT National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that the CAIT today has sent a letter to PM appreciated the great efforts of the Government in combating COVID-19. In view of the unprecedented success of Janta Curfew having voluntary participation of the people is ample testimony of the fact that the citizens are well prepared for any precautionary measure, the PM should declare a national lockdown in the Country till 31st March to prevent any possibility of community transmission of Corona.
In the letter sent to the PM, they said that the speed with which the corona virus cases have increased in the country is worrisome. Although the government is adopting all measures to prevent corona on its level yet it is necessary to protect the Country from community transmission and as such a national lockdown is need of the hour. Several States have already announced partial lockdown and and as such any national lockdown will get enthusiastic and voluntary support from all sections of the Country The CAIT said that Chemist shops, Dairy shops and Grocery & General Merchants operating in residential colonies should be exempted from such lockdown so that people can procure their daily requirements.
They said that the Corona virus is having a brutal bearing on economy and domestic trade particularly when financial year is ending on 31st March,2020. In view of this, the CAIT has urged the Prime Minister to take initiative to protect economy as well and all liabilities and filing of returns under Income Tax & GST should be postponed to 30th June,2020. Steps should be taken to ensure that no account of any trader in the Country is declared as NPA. Payment of all Bank Loans & EMIs should also be extended upto 30th June,2020. No interest or penalty should be charged on any such extended period. The CAIT also said that it would be better if the current financial year is extended upto 30th April,2020. A Corona cash loan may be advanced to traders through Banks at a concessional rate of interest to continue the supply chain effectively at this crucial hour. The Government may provide a subsidy to traders for awarding wages to their employees for the period of lockdown.