HYDERABAD: The Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI), on Friday, wrote a letter to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, requesting him to permit the reopening of shopping centres and malls to prevent the industry from collapsing.
The SCAI, whose members include several mall chains like Forum, said that the industry was staring at massive revenue losses, bank defaults and unemployment. In a statement, the body said, “With the airlines and railways being permitted to restart gradually, the lockdown is almost over. The shopping centre/mall industry, which connects the factory produce to consumers, can play a crucial role in bringing the economy back on its feet.
Yet, for reasons unknown, it has been excluded from any relaxation.” The association said that several industries were dependent on the opening of organised retail. “The collapse of the shopping centre industry will massively impact other sectors, including garments, textiles, fashion, entertainment and so on.”
The unemployment crisis hovers above the industry, as revenues are close to none and expenses are at 100 per cent of the pre-lockdown, they said.
“So far, we have tried to protect the salaries and jobs of over 1.2 crore people directly or indirectly employed by the industry. The anxiety of one crore blue collar workers losing their jobs in case of an extended lockdown is real and imminent,” they added.