Traders' body CAIT on Tuesday said a proposal to impose lockdown in market areas in the national capital may prove to be "counterproductive" as lakhs of livelihoods are at stake and urged the Centre to consult traders before taking any such decision. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said he is sending a proposal to the Centre to give power to Delhi government to impose lockdown in market areas which may emerge as COVID-19 hotspots.
Reacting to the proposal, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) urged "Home Minister Amit Shah and Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal to consult the traders before taking any such decision as the livelihood of lakhs of traders and their employees and other people are at stake".
CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that such a proposal shows "utter failure" of the Delhi government in handling the COVID situation. He said although COVID spread is certainly a major concern among the people of Delhi but the issue needs to be handled in a strategic way and not in a piecemeal manner.
"The pros and cons of shutting the markets must be examined. The traders and Trade Associations of Delhi stand fully in solidarity with the government to tackle the COVID situation. However, without consulting the traders, any step taken by the government will be counterproductive," Khandelwal said.
He observed that only regular use items but even the supplies of essential commodities will be hit hard by such a lockdown, highlighting the "immediate need" to carve out a strategy which may not only bring down COVID cases but also ensure free flow of goods and services.