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Friday, June 25, 2021

Implementing odd-even in Delhi’s markets: BJP seeks relaxation for traders

Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said traders were unhappy with the odd-even strategy, adding that the current formula was unworkable and a nightmare to implement.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi |
Updated: June 6, 2021 12:06:30 pm
A huge crowd is seen in Trilokpuri market in New Delhi on Saturday. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)

The BJP has sought relaxations for traders in implementing the odd and even formula for opening markets, and demanded that traders be allowed to open their shops everyday with staggered timings.

Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said the government must relax the terms and conditions for opening of markets from June 7, asserting that traders were unhappy with the unlocking deal announced by the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The Delhi government has said shopping malls and markets will open from 10 am to 8 pm Monday onward as the process of unlocking begins.

Bidhuri said that instead of implementing the odd-even formula, the government should reduce the timings of the markets and allow all markets and shops to open. He said the wholesale markets could be allowed to open at 11 and shut by 5 pm, while the retail markets could open at 1 pm and shut by 8 pm. Similarly, restaurants should also be allowed to open from 6 pm to 11 pm, he said.

Bidhuri said traders were unhappy with the odd-even strategy, adding that the current formula was unworkable and a nightmare to implement.

He said banquet halls, catering services and restaurants should also be allowed to operate with Covid-related protocols in place.

“It will be a nightmare for everyone in the administration, and the traders to implement this odd-even formula across markets in Delhi. There are dozens of shops in a lot of markets under one number and the whole bunch will have to shut down. There is an urgent need for L-G Anil Baijal to intervene and work out some other formula which is easy to implement and satisfies the traders too,” Bidhuri added.

He said during the lockdown period, traders did not use electricity and, therefore, the Delhi government should waive off the fixed charges for power supply. In addition to this, he said relief should be given to banquet halls and catering services to ensure smooth conduct of marriages and festivals. “The government should also work on a scheme on how to open the weekly markets in the capital,” Bidhuri said.

Domestic traders body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has welcomed the Delhi government’s decision to allow markets to reopen from Monday, but has also opposed the odd-even formula, claiming it does not suit the business character of traders.

Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of CAIT said traders were eagerly awaiting opening of their shops since they were facing acute financial crunch due to the complete lockdown.

He said the traders of Delhi were largely against the odd-even formula which has been declared. “This formula adds confusion, especially for consumers who come to shop without knowing whether the shop which they intend to visit is open due to the enforcement of odd-even formula.”

He said the odd-even formula was never suited for the business character of Delhi, the largest distribution centre in the country, while has a totally different business format where one trader is dependent upon the other for procurement of goods. In many cases, he said, the format adopted will see different traders open on different days.

“It would have been better if the Delhi government adopted staggered timings between different markets of Delhi,” he added.

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