Decision to open shops in malls soon after taking into account health ministry’s guidelines

NEW DELHI: The decision to open shops in malls, will be taken soon, after taking into account the guidelines of the health ministry, the commerce and industry ministry said on Friday.

Issues of retail traders were discussed in a meeting between Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday with representatives of traders associations through video conferencing.

Regarding some of the hardships being faced by the retail traders even after the relaxations of the guidelines, he said that a majority of shops have been allowed to be opened, without any distinction of essential and non-essential.

“The decision to open the remaining shops in the malls, will be taken soon, after taking into account the guidelines of the health ministry,” the ministry said in a statement.

The minister said that that the Aatmanirbhar package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to fight COVID-19 provided for Rs 3 lakh credit guarantee for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), and it also covers traders.

Goyal told the traders not to feel threatened by the e-commerce juggernaut, as the common person has now realized that the brick and mortar kirana neighbourhood shopkeepers only helped them in their hour of crisis.

He added that the government is working on mechanism to facilitate Business-to-business (B2B) for the retail traders and providing technical support to them to expand their reach.

Regarding other problems of the trader community pertaining to term loans, and mudra loans, the minister said that the matter will be taken up with the finance ministry to find a solution.

“Several indicators show that the economic recovery is on the anvil. The power consumption this month is almost at par with the corresponding period last year. Exports, which went down in April by almost 60 per cent, have started showing upward trend, and the preliminary figures indicate decline this month will be smaller,” he added. (AGENCIES)