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COVID-19: CAIT urges Centre to meet traders, industries

New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Monday wrote to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal urging him to convene a meeting with trade and industry representative to talk on the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on Indian traders and industries and carve out measures to support the affected businesses.

In its letter, the traders’ body suggested that along with long term measures, the government should come out with a special package for traders and small industries to scale up their production capacity and stocks as the supply from China have been severely hit.

“We invoke your kind attention towards outbreak of deadly coronavirus in China and over dependency of our domestic trade and industry on China which we apprehend will cripple supply chain to a great extent. We shall request you to kindly convene a meeting of trade and industry to consider possible extent of the impact of coronavirus on domestic trade and industry and remedial measure required for ensuring uninterrupted supply chain,” it said.

The organisation noted that India imports finished goods which are re-distributed in the country, raw material which is being used for producing goods and import spare parts used in assembling the goods by traders and small Industries.

“Since coronavirus broke out in January, the trade and industry in China is closed and there is no manufacturing or supply of goods. Because of the deadly virus, the Indian importers have stopped imports of China and have cancelled their visits to China or other corona virus affected Countries,” said the letter signed by Praveen Khandelwal, National Secretary General, CAIT.

It said that that generally importers keep stocks of these goods as a buffer stock for two months and now on supply chain will get severely affected.

“The situation will become more vulnerable as it appears that even after resuming production in China, it will take months to have regular supplies from China,” CAIT added.

As per the traders’ body the government should examine as to whether import of goods from China or Chinese goods imports from other countries poses any threat to the health of Indian citizens and if so, remedial steps should be taken to ensure no entry of such imports into India by any means including e-commerce.

It said that immediate steps are needed to provide a package to Indian traders and small industries to strengthen their production capacity so that flow of supply chain should not be disturbed and under long term measures, the government should also carve out ways and means to ensure that over dependence on any country should not happen as it will cripple our economy.

–IANS

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