The Federation of Trade Association of Pune (FATP) has asked the district administration to ease restrictions on businesses after the first five days of the 10-day lockdown, which starts on Tuesday. At a meeting held on Monday, office-bearers of FATP said they will cooperate with the administration in making the lockdown a success, although it will come at a “heavy price” for the traders.
Earlier, the Federation had opposed the administration’s decision to impose the lockdown again, and warned the government that it would lead to “public anger”. The FATP leaders had categorically said that lockdown was not a solution to the pandemic, and it was not feasible to shut all shops again during this period.
The meeting on Monday was convened by the administration as an effort to assuage FATP leaders and get them to support the lockdown move. It was attended by Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar, Officer on Special Duty Saurabh Rao, Pune Collector Naval Kishore Ram, PMC chief Vikram Kumar and PCMC chief Shravan Hardikar, along with FATP representatives Fattechand Ranka and Mahendra Pitaliya, among others.
At the meeting, Rao told the traders’ representatives that the lockdown was being implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus and was not intended to hurt the traders.
“Traders are the spine of the economy and they have been supporting the government’s fight against Covid-19. It has been observed in the city that customers who come to visit the shops are not following social distancing norms. This is one of the major sources of the spread of the virus. The upcoming lockdown is being effected by the administration to rid the city and the district of Covid-19. The administration needs the support of the traders’ community and I am confident we will receive it, ” said Rao.
Mhaisekar said the administration was aware of the difficulties faced by the traders in the last three to four months, and will try in the future to provide it required support.
Ranka said nearly 10 lakh individuals were dependent on trade establishments for their livelihoods and they have suffered heavily due to closure of businesses announced by the government time to time. “We are cooperating with the government and district administration, and we need it to understand our situation too. A huge number of people are dependent on the trade. We urge the administration to ease lockdown restrictions to allow some trade to happen after the first five days of the lockdown, ” said Ranka.
The administration agreed to consider the demand of easing the restriction after the first five days of lockdown, post a review of the situation.
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