NEW DELHI: Retail and wholesale businesses across the country have taken a hit of Rs 46,000 crore in the last ten days amid night curfews and partial lockdowns across several states. According to Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), retailers have taken a hit of Rs 32,000 crore, while wholesale businesses have suffered a loss of Rs 14,000 crore. The traders’ body added that nearly 60 per cent of consumers are avoiding visits to markets due to the steep rise of Covid-19 cases.
Giving a state-wise break, CAIT said that in Maharashtra, there has been a loss of business about Rs 10,000 crore in the retail segment, while that in the wholesale segment stood at Rs 4,000 crore. In Chhattisgarh, the retail business has suffered a loss of about Rs 1,200 crore and the wholesale trade has seen a loss of about Rs 600 crore. The retail trade in Gujarat has suffered a loss of about Rs 4,800 crore and a loss of about Rs 2,200 crore has been caused to the wholesale trade.
Similarly, retail traders in Delhi have lost Rs 3,000 crore of business in the last 10 days, and wholesale trade has suffered a loss of about Rs 1,400 crore. The active COVID-19 cases in India continued to be above the 12-lakh mark for the second continuous day after over 1.6 lakh new infections were reported in the past 24 hours, as per the latest health ministry data. Industry representatives along with the traders’ body have appealed to the Centre and state governments to not go ahead with lockdowns and instead ramp up the vaccination drive and implement stringent safety norms.
Recently, the Retailers Association of India (RAI), which has called for a coordinated effort to handle the second wave rather than creating diverse restrictions at local levels, said the industry is beginning to see similar issues repeating in some form that were faced last year with varied localised restrictions across states, with many businessmen having to shut shops permanently.