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Pune traders to back Maha govt on 'full lockdown' to curb rising COVID-19 cases

PTI     April 13, 2021

An umbrella organisation of traders in Pune on Monday said it will extend support to the Maharashtra government if it imposes a "full lockdown" in the state to curb the rising cases of coronavirus. The Federation of Traders Association (FTA), Pune, took the decision after a detailed meeting of its representatives with senior government officials from Pune district as well as the civic administration, its president said.

The decision was taken after considering the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the city and rural parts of the district, one of the worst-hit in the country, federation president Fatehchand Ranka said. "After our meetings with the authorities and our own members, we unanimously took a decision to extend our support if the state government takes a decision to impose a full lockdown," said Ranka.

He said it has been learnt that the state government is going to take a decision about the lockdown in the next two days. "If the state government imposes a full lockdown, on behalf of 40,000 traders in the city (represented by the federation), I want to assure the state government that to solve this crisis, we are with you.

"However, if the government imposes a half lockdown we will have to take a different decision," Ranka said. He said imposition of a "mini lockdown" did not lead to reduction in movement of people and crowding in the city.

Ranka appealed to other traders' bodies to keep their establishments closed till the government takes a decision about the lockdown. The federation earlier took a stand that the state government should roll back the fresh curbs, put in place since last week to stem the COVID-19 spread.

Traders were miffed over closure of non-essential shops as part of the curbs. A police case was registered against Ranka and 55 other traders for forming a 'human chain' in Pune to protest the lockdown-like restrictions, which they said, adversely affected their businesses.

Also read: Retail inflation rises to 5.52% as food prices soar

Also read: Unfair! Restaurant sector feels 'singled out' in Maharashtra's Covid-19 curbs

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