Covid carnage: Micro retailers see 40% monthly business loss amid fresh restrictions to curb pandemic

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April 19, 2021 2:31 PM

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Ever since the second Covid wave struck India post-mid-February and gathered pace last month, state governments have been scrambling with measures to curb the rise in daily cases and stretch the finite healthcare infrastructure.

CAIT, MSME sector, Confederation of All India Traders, government removed retail and wholesale traders from the MSME category, Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd, MUDRA,While weekend lockdown continues in Maharashtra, Delhi will be under complete lockdown till April 26.

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Current lockdown restrictions across multiple states and metros may cost at least around 40 per cent of the monthly earnings of micro retailers, according to the Federation of Retailer Association of India (FRAI), a representative body for around 4 crore micro, small, and medium retailers in India. “The impact will be across sectors particularly for non-essential categories while kirana stores may have some respite much like last year. If there is a complete and prolonged lockdown across the country then stores retailing non-essential goods and services will be reduced to zero revenue and would have to shut down,” Vinayak Kumar, Secretary-General, FRAI told Financial Express Online.

Ever since the second Covid wave struck India post-mid-February and gathered pace last month, state governments have been scrambling with measures to curb the rise in daily cases and stretch the finite healthcare infrastructure. While weekend lockdown continues in Maharashtra, Delhi will be under complete lockdown till 6 am, April 26. Uttar Pradesh government had announced a lockdown on Sundays and night curfew in districts with over 500 cases. On the other hand, Karnataka had imposed night curfew in several districts while Kerala mandated shops to shut by 9 pm. Other states where night curfews have been imposed included Odisha, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Bihar, etc.

For Delhi, the daily business loss due to lockdown is likely to be around Rs 600 crore while for overall India, the daily loss could be around Rs 30,000 crore taking into account full lockdown, partial lockdown, night curfews and other forms of restrictions,” Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General, Confederation of All India Traders, told Financial Express Online.

Also read: PM SVANidhi: 84% sanctioned loans disbursed to street vendors since launch of scheme; SBI top lender

Till last Tuesday, traders had suffered an estimated business loss of around Rs 46 crore during the 10-day night curfew and partial lockdown in different states out of which the retail trade loss was about Rs. 32,000 crores while the wholesale business suffered a loss of about Rs 14,000 crores, according to CAIT.

“Garments and apparel business was yet to recover to its pre-Covid revenue but with new restrictions in place, we are staring at a total business loss and possible shutdown if the lockdown extends beyond next week. Similar is the situation for shops selling goods other than grocery and food items in markets across Delhi NCR,” Abhinav Singh, a shop owner in Delhi’s Karol Bagh market told Financial Express Online.

“We had urged Piyush Goyal and other ministers to give respite to tobacco and wine retailers and operate under strict guidelines as the shutdown of such shops would also cost significant tax revenue loss to the government. While the Mudra loan scheme had supported them but after lockdown, there is no relief. Retailers are already at 98 per cent loss while around 30 per cent in Telangana might be shut,” Sallauddin Deccani, Vice President, FRAI Telangana Chapter told Financial Express Online.

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