The ongoing pandemic has hit every sector of the Indian economy hard and the retail trade in the country has lost about Rs 15.5 lakh crore in the past 100 days.
In a statement, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said that the traders across the country are highly depressed because of very minimal footfall of the consumers, considerable absence of employees, facing the highest financial crunch and yet have to meet several financial obligations.
"No support policy from the Central or state government is yet another crucial factor which is haunting the traders," it said.
Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of CAIT on Sunday said that the domestic trade in the country is passing through its worst period in the current century which reflects that if immediate steps are not taken, about 20 per cent of the shops in India will have to close down their shutters.
As per inputs available from the traders across the country, CAIT said that there is a footfall of only 10 per cent of the consumers so far post the unlock period which has affected greatly to the daily turnover of the traders.
As per the traders' body, at this crucial time, handholding of traders is all the more much required.
A financial mechanism needs to be crafted to award business loans to traders and relaxation in payment of taxes and extension in repayment period of bank loans, EMIs without any further interest or penalty is also required and several other steps need to be taken to provide financial liquidity at the hands of the traders to revive business activities.
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