Nearly 1.75 crore small businesses are on verge of closure due to COVID
“The domestic trade of India is suffering with most worst days of the century due to COVID which has brought down the traders of India on their knees having no sign of immediate respite in near future “- said the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). The CAIT said that because of not getting any support from both Central and State Governments which may see collapse of about 25% small business I.e about 1.75 crore shops across Country are at verge of closure which will be most disastrous to the economy of the Country.
The Indian domestic trade which is largest self organised sector across the world but being wrongly described as unorganised sector is one of the widest Trade over the globe consisting of more than 7 crore traders providing employment to more than 40 crore people and generating an annual turnover of about 60 lakh crores of rupees. Nearly more than 8000 broad categories of items having several different verticals under each broad category is being traded in India. The banking sector has so far failed to provide formal finance to this sector since only 7% of the small businesses are able to obtain finance from banks & other financial institutions and rest of the 93% traders are dependent upon informal sources to meet their financial requirements.
CAIT National President Mr B C Bhartia & Secretary General Mr Praveen Khandelwal said that COVID has sucked the blood of Indian domestic trade which is currently struggling hard for its survival and facing several onslaughts from every corner. During pre-Covid period, the domestic trade was facing great financial liquidity in the market and post Covid period has brought the trade under abnormal and high level of financial strain and traders are feeling highly handicapped to revive the business. There was no provision of even a single rupee for small businesses in 20 lakh crore package announced by the Union Government and neither any State Government in the Country formulated any financial assistance for small businesses. What pinches the traders is that all other sectors of economy even the migrant labour was considered worth for financial package but the traders whom the political fraternity attribute as life line of economy, were utterly neglected despite the fact that on one call of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the traders played the most critical role in continuing the supply chain across the Country so efficiently that there was not even a single instance of scarcity of goods was reported across Country.
Both Mr Bhartia & Mr Khandelwal said that the utter neglect and apathy of Central and the State Governments will be responsible for closure of 1.75 crore shops in India which will certainly and significantly add to the numbers of unemployment in India and will give a major setback to PMs call for vocal for local and Atmnirbhar Bharat. They further said that traders are under much financial obligation for payment of Central & State Government taxes, repayment of monthly instalments of loan taken from formal & informal sources, EMIs, Water & Electricity Bills, Property tax, payment of interest, payment of wages to the labour and various other payments. The CAIT has urged the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to take immediate cognisance of the issue of traders and announce a package policy for traders and help them in revival of their business.