Retail sector suffered a loss of Rs 5.5 lakh crore in last 40 days: Confederation of All India Traders

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New Delhi [India], May 5 (ANI): The Indian retail sector has lost a gigantic sum of Rs 5.5 lakh crore ever since the COVID-19 led countrywide lockdown was imposed from March 25, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said on Tuesday.

At least 20 per cent of Indian retailers will collapse and wind up their businesses in the next few months, it claimed while urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to support the trading community with a substantial economic package to ensure its survival. CAIT National President B C Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said the COVID-19 epidemic has caused “a huge and irreparable dent to the retail trade which will have a devastating effect on the whole country.”

Retailers do a daily business of about Rs 15,000 crore and the country has been in lockdown for over 40 days. “Out of seven crore traders, 1.5 crores in all likelihood will have to permanently down the shutters in a few months and 75 lakh more will fold up in the medium term,” they said in a statement.

On one hand, the retailers have to pay salaries, rentals and other monthly expenses. On the other hand, they have to deal with a sharp dip in disposable income of consumers along with strict social distancing norms.

This will not allow businesses to return to normalcy for at least six to nine months. The Indian economy was already passing through a recessionary phase and there was a significant downturn in demand across sectors.

“But this deadly disease has delivered the knockout punch and washed away all hopes of a revival. The economic pandemonium will be even bigger than the corona pandemic,” said Bhartia and Khandelwal.

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