Retailers Association of India says stores need clarity on regulations before they can reopen
The Retailers Association of India (RAI) has instructed its member retailers to get clarity from their respective state government before reopening stores, and has expressed confusion over the central government’s relaxed retail guidelines.
The Home Ministry’s recent circulars relaxing regulations on which stores can open during the extended lockdown has left the RAI confused, the Press Trust of India reported.
Although the ministry announced on Friday that stores in rural areas could open with the exception of those in containment zones and malls, it also stated that non-essential goods will still be prohibited until May 3 when the lockdown is currently scheduled to end. The circular also said that standalone stores in cities can reopen if they follow health and safety protocol including using 50% reduced staff and personal protective equipment.
“Members can't open it until and unless the states allow,” said the RAI’s CEO Kumar Rajagopalan, the Press Trust of India reported.
“Until states come up with a clarity, they can't open but the states are equally confused with this. It is the prerogative of states to allow stores to open, Centre is the guiding principle. Sadly, states have not got enough of clarity.”
Rajagopalan opined that the government “should say all kind of retailers can reopen subject to social distancing norms,” to give clarity.
“Let them say that all kinds of stores, online and offline, everybody including the malls are allowed, provided the social distancing norms are strictly followed," Rajagopalan concluded.
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