Maharashtra traders give ultimatum to CM Uddhav Thackeray to withdraw shutdown
The traders in Maharashtra have given 24-hour ultimatum to chief minister Uddhav Thacekray to take back the decision to impose strict curbs to check the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The state government on Sunday imposed stricter norms, including weekend lockdown, stricter night curfew and prohibition of assembly of more than five people during the day.
The federation of association of Maharashtra (FAM) - a body of traders, merchants, entrepreneurs and businessmen - has said that the latest measure will impact them badly. FAM president Vinesh Mehta said that they are still not able to recover from the losses caused by last year's lockdown and now the Maharashtra government has imposed these stringent measures.
"These curbs will finish small traders," said Mehta.
The traders' body has decided to wear black band and black mask if the state government doesn't listen to their demands. Their protest will start from Thursday.
FAM vice president Jitendra Shah said that traders have to pay salaries to their workers, taxes and rent. "Where will we get money for all this? If the government doesn't listen to us, we will intensify our protest," he added.
Many shopkeepers and traders on Tuesday staged protests across Maharashtra against the state government's latest restriction, citing that the move will severely impact small businesses amid the pandemic.
Some of the traders took to the streets in Mumbai. According to the police, traders gathered in Borivali and Bhendi Bazaar area of south Mumbai shouting slogans and holding placards to protest the lockdown.
As per the state government's latest curbs to control the surge in Covid-19 cases, shops and establishments selling non-essential commodities and services will have to remain shut till April 30.
Medical stores, shops selling vegetables, groceries, dairies, among other essential service providers are allowed to function.