Retailers, malls welcome MHA directive to prevent local lockdowns
Malls and retailers have welcomed the Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ new ‘unlock’ regulations, hoping they will help businesses to recover and cater to increased festive demand.
As part of its new guidelines for ‘Unlock 4’, the Ministry of Home Affairs restricted states from imposing local lockdowns (outside of containment zones) without first being given the go-ahead by the central government. Many states had imposed weekend lockdowns to curb the spread of Covid-19 that had especially affected malls and clothing shops which experience the majority of in-store traffic at the weekend.
“The standard operating procedures are in place and everyone is following them so there is no need for weekend lockdowns or any other restrictions,” Amitabh Taneja, chairman of the
Shopping Centres Association of India, told ET Bureau.
Both the SCAI and the Retailers Association of India had previously requested central and state governments to reconsider local weekend lockdowns due to their adverse effect on business.
According to the SCAI, none of the over 500 malls that have reopened have reported a Covid-19 case thus far.
“If the weekend lockdown had continued, we can assure you that 2020 will be a complete washout for the sector and will have a lasting impact on several industries that rely on modern retail for a long time to come,” said Taneja.
Many clothing and jewellery businesses are relying on the upcoming festive season to aid their post-lockdown recovery.
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