Small traders will die amid lockdown without ‘foolproof’ stimulus, traders’ body tells government

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Updated: April 1, 2020 9:46:08 PM

Credit and Finance for MSMEs: A significant portion of Indian traders will face “quite a tough time and due to financial crunch will die a natural death,” CAIT said.

Over 6.5 crore traders have shut their shops amid the national lockdown.

Credit and Finance for MSMEs: The current lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic would result in significant casualties among the traders’ community without a foolproof rearguard stimulus from the government to tackle the miseries arising out of this unprecedented Covid19 lockdown,” according to the traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). A significant portion of Indian traders will face “quite a tough time and due to financial crunch will die a natural death,” the association said on Wednesday in a statement. CAIT represents 7 crores small, medium and large traders in the country.

According to its National President B.C.Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, around one crore trading units are engaged in essential goods category out of which only 20 per cent to 25 per cent are able to conduct their business activities. “India’s local kirana stores have shown tremendous resolve and determination to stand with the nation in these difficult times whereas the so-called multinational e-commerce giants who talk big about their technological prowess have all meekly surrendered to the situation,” Khandelwal said.

Also read: Small business lender U GRO Capital gives 3-month moratorium to help borrowers manage cash flows

Over 6.5 crore traders have shut their shops amid the national lockdown with no sources of revenue available. CAIT asserted that the stimulus announced by the government may not provide relief for the long term. “Even though the government has announced certain measures like deferment of various regulatory compliances and deferment of loan instalments etc. and these measures will ease out some working capital pressure in the short term, without a proper stimulus package, these measures will be highly insufficient,” he added.

The association the government to waive off bank interest charges for the effective lockdown period “on all kinds of loans, deferment of all tax payments for three months to ease working capital and liquidity, capping of the rental to 25 per cent – 35 per cent so that both landlord and tenant can survive the tough period, reductions in salary burden for the lockdown period,” it said. CAIT asked the government for ‘force majure’ at ports, railways etc. to secure goods already stuck there.

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