New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) Small retailers whose shops have remained closed during the current lockdown have appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately announce an economic package under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to compensate the losses suffered by them.
In a representation to the government under the aegis of the Federation of Retailer Association of India (FRAI), the body of about 4 crore micro, small and medium retailers urged that the hardships being faced by them be appreciated and they be allowed to open their shops immediately.
The FRAI has a membership of 34 Retail Associations from the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western part of the country and it represents the interests of the poorest of the poor in the country who are selling items of daily use like biscuits, soft drinks, mineral water, cigarettes, bidi, paan etc.
“We appeal to the Hon’ble Prime Minister to immediately announce an economic package to compensate the losses of the petty retailers in their daily income under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana announced by the Government,” Ram Asre Mishra, President, FRAI said.
“While big grocery shops selling essential commodities are allowed to operate during the lockdown, why should our small shopkeeper brothers, who also sell similar goods of daily public needs, be deprived to earn their livelihood,” Mishra added.
According to the federation, March to June are the important months for small retailers to earn extra money and save. The sale of all the products sold from their shops picks up during this period. Unfortunately, this lockdown has come at the time of the peak months for them and they have already given up the hope of extra income during the peak season. These poor individuals and their families are now facing certain poverty and survival challenges, FRAI said in a statement.
The problem for small retailers gets aggravated in a lockdown situation as all their capital is tied up in the stocks of essential products which are remaining unsold. This has pushed some of the retailers to dip into their small savings to survive. Most of our individual members have now depleted their entire savings and are on the verge of starvation, Mishra said.
The profit of micro retailers in selling these essential products works out to about Rs 15,000 per month which is barely adequate for two square meals a day for their family members, he added,