CAIT urges Delhi govt to reconsider odd-even plan; 4.5 crore shops open across country as lockdown eased

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May 19, 2020 5:19 PM

Trade body CAIT has urged the Delhi government to reconsider the odd-even plan as only 5 lakh shops could open in the city.

Shops opened after around 40 days of lockdown, imposed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic Express PhotoApart from business owners, the odd-even arrangement also poses inconvenience to the customers as well. (Express Photo)

As the government eased restrictions during lockdown 4.0, about 4.5 crore shops opened in the country on Tuesday. While restrictions have also been lifted in the national capital Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government imposed an odd-even plan to keep a tab on coronavirus spread. However, trade body CAIT has now urged the government to reconsider the odd-even plan as only 5 lakh shops could open in the city. “Most of the traders in the city and trade associations are not in favour of the odd-even formula. Traders believe that this will restrict complete opening of shops in a comprehensive manner and will cause great inconvenience to the traders,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said. The odd-even plan allows shops with even numbers to open on even dates and vice-versa. 

Apart from business owners, the odd-even arrangement also poses inconvenience to the customers as well. “It will be a very strange situation for the customers as different shops sell different types of merchandise, so if the customer comes to the market in a day he would probably be deprived of the choice,” Praveen Khandelwal said. The trade body has suggested that the government must either allow all shops to open on alternate days or divide the Delhi market in zones with half of them opening in the first half of the day and others in the second half of the day.

Even while markets were opened, no business took place in commercial markets across the country including Delhi. Traders were engrossed in cleaning and sanitising their shops as they were opened after a long time, CAIT said. Further, the migrant worker crisis also posed hindrance in smooth business operations, the trade body said. India is currently witnessing an unprecedented migrant workers exodus as the workers scramble to get even basic necessities in bigger cities. Many of them are now returning to their hometowns to be with their families in the difficult times. 

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