Home » News » India » CAIT Demands Ease in Delhi Covid Curbs as Survey Shows 96% Traders Want Markets to be Open on All Weekdays
2-MIN READ

CAIT Demands Ease in Delhi Covid Curbs as Survey Shows 96% Traders Want Markets to be Open on All Weekdays

People shop at a crowded market amidst the spread of Covid-19, in the old quarters of Delhi, on January 4, 2022. (REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)

People shop at a crowded market amidst the spread of Covid-19, in the old quarters of Delhi, on January 4, 2022. (REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)

CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said restrictions can be rolled back in the capital considering the lower positivity rate and decrease in Covid-related bed occupancy at hospitals.

With daily cases of Covid-19 in Delhi declining each day, demands from traders have been getting louder to lift restrictions in the national capital. Many have also objected to being made “scapegoats” in the political turf war between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Anil Baijal over the issue.

The Delhi government has reportedly proposed lifting the weekend curfew, end odd-even system for opening of shops, and allow private offices to run with 50% staff in the city. The proposal has been approved by Arvind Kejriwal and has been sent to Lt Governor Anil Baijal for approval.

Traders in many parts of the city have been demanding lifting of the curbs, including those imposed on shops selling non-essential items on alternate days based on odd-even system.

The weekend curfew is in place from 10 pm on Friday and continues till Monday 5 am. It will be done away with if the L-G grants permission to the Delhi government’s proposal. The decision to impose weekend curfew was taken by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on January 1 due to rise in Covid-19 cases in the city. A night curfew during weekdays is already in place from 10 pm to 5 am.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) had on Friday and Saturday carried out an online survey among traders on whether Covid-related restrictions should continue in Delhi. Most of the traders who responded to the survey have demanded lifting of the restrictions.

According to CAIT officials, around 96% of the respondents said markers should be opened on all weekdays, while 97% insisted on strict adherence to Covid safety rules. Around 72% of the respondents said the CM had “politicised” the issue, while 86% believe their business had come down by more than 60% in the last 20 days. Around 88% agreed to 100 guests per wedding limit.

CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said restrictions can be rolled back in the capital considering the lower positivity rate and decrease in Covid-related bed occupancy at hospitals.

The CAIT has also suggested in a letter to L-G Baijal that the odd-even system for opening shops had proved to be a “failure” and inconvenience for shoppers, and caused “huge disruption” to trade in the capital. The body has also suggested that working hours of markets should be changed from 10 am to 5 pm, while hotels and restaurants should be allowed to open with 50% capacity as for private offices. It also said that 100 guests should be allowed per wedding instead of just 20.

Khandelwal said the manner in which Kejriwal made his letter to the L-G public is “very unfortunate”. “It is clear from this that he knew what the decision of DDMA would be and he made his letter public, which has never happened before.”

“Inexplicably, Mr Kejriwal has tried to do politics on this serious issue and traders were made scapegoats, which has caused huge loss to the traders. After making this statement, Mr Kejriwal left Delhi for election campaign in other states leaving the traders and people of Delhi to face the Covid consequences,” Khandelwal added.

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here.

first published:January 22, 2022, 15:26 IST