May 6, 2020 11:01:30 pm
The Shopping Centers Association of India (SCAI) Wednesday reached out to the governments of Punjab, Haryana and the Chandigarh Administration with a set of standard operating procedures and guidelines for reopening of malls in the two states and the Uninn Territory.
A representation has also been sent to Chandigarh Administrator V P Singh Badnore besides Punjab Chief minister Amarinder Singh and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar, the SCAI said in a statement.
Drawing on recent reports of long queues that were witnessed across the country to buy liquor where social distancing norms were “openly flouted”, the SCAI reiterated the need for stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) and emphasised on the industry’s ability to provide a safe and hygienic environment while ensuring social distancing norms are ensured.
The SCAI said it has the ability to enforce protocols at shopping centers in a “far more efficient manner” than many others who have benefited from the relaxation. It said it has preparing SOPs in consultations with ‘Captains of industry’ and adopted best global practices to ensure that the spread of COVID-19 is contained, it said.
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The SCAI sought intervention of the government to support the shopping center industry and protect the livelihood of 12 million people as the fate of organised retail remains uncertain amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
“The retail industry contributes over 10 per cent to India’s GDP, the second largest after agriculture,”the statement said, adding it employs over 8 per cent of the overall workforce making it the third largest in the country.
Malls are equally safe, if not more, compared to any establishment allowed to open and all steps would be taken to ensure the safety of consumers, besides making wearing of masks compulsory, and allowing 50 per cent occupancy at food courts and coffee shops, the release added.
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