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The Retailer's Trade has expressed deep disappointment after being completely neglected from the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Announcement on 20 lakh crore Economic package to stimulate the loss caused by COVID-19 crisis.
"Confederation of All India Traders(CAIT) has expressed deep disappointment and resentment against the Government on behalf of the 7 crore traders of India who have been completely ignored while announcing the Economic package," the traders'' body said in a statement.
Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of Confederation Of All India Traders(CAIT) in a video statement said that seven crore traders of the country have been totally ignored while announcing the economic package and expressed resentment against the government on behalf the traders of India.
Khandelwal, also said that the organisation will seek immediate intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of Retailers Association of India (RAI), said: "The steps taken under the "Aatm-nirbhar Bharat'' economic stimulus will help the country in the long term but the emergent issues facing the retail industry have not been addressed.
"With no income and zero support from the government, the industry does not have the ability to support them. This will lead to a massive slowdown in consumption that will further harm the economy and the country," he added.
"Even the relief measures offered to MSMEs by the government do not help retailers as the retail sector is not covered under the MSME sector," the RAI CEO said.
The retail industry, which contributes around 40% to India's consumption and 10% to India's GDP, is severely stressed. Kumar said "What retailers needed was wage support; moratorium for payment of principal & interests and support in the form of working capital. This is critical for retail to survive."
The Finance Minister on Sunday announced the last tranche of the 20 lakh crore relief package termed as "Aatm-Nirbhar Bharat". However, these measures are enough to create liquidity in the economy and ease financial obligations of some businesses, but not for retailers as most traders have zero incomes since the harsh lockdown begin and has put a temporary-but-brutal full-stop on the trade industry.
The Retailers' Association of India(RAI) on Friday has also urged the government of Gujarat to allow the resumption of retail and economic activity, with safety measures in place, in green and orange zones.
The Association assured the government that the industry will deploy standard operating procedures based on government orders and WHO guidelines, if granted permission.
SC Agarwal, Chairman of CAIT, West-Bengal tweeted on Sunday: "7 crores traders treated with disdain & indifference by Govt, inspite of giving super human service to nation in time of need, risking their lives & suffering huge losses to maintain supply chain. What if we did not support Govt in future in crisis."
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