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Trading community faced 15tn in losses in the last two months: CAIT

CAIT estimates that traders could look at an estimated 30% job cuts if restrictions continue and no financial assistance is provided to traders. (Bloomberg)Premium
CAIT estimates that traders could look at an estimated 30% job cuts if restrictions continue and no financial assistance is provided to traders. (Bloomberg)

  • The Confederation of All India Trader says that out of the total business loss of about 15 trillion, retail format has lost 9 trillion while the wholesale trade in the country suffered a loss of about 6 trillion

NEW DELHI: India’s domestic trading community including small and large retailers have suffered an estimated loss of 15 lakh crore over the last two months, as the second wave prompted states to consider restrictions, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a note on Wednesday.

CAIT, which represents scores of traders pan-India, said this is prompting small businesses to consider job cuts and cut back on other overheads.

CAIT estimates that traders could look at an estimated 30% job cuts if restrictions continue and no financial assistance is provided to traders.

“For the first time traders across the country are contemplating to reduce the number of employees as they have been forced to cut down establishment expenses and overheads due to non-affordability of the recurring monthly expenses. If it happens it will increase the unemployment figures particularly when the retail trade in India has been described as the only source of disguised employment and the only sector which provides exponential streams for self-employment in India," the industry body said in a note.

There are an estimated 8 crore small businesses engaged in trading activities in India, estimates by CAIT suggest. They provides direct employment to nearly 40 crore people.

India’s second and more severe wave has once again led to a prolonged closure of busy markets, malls and wholesale markets. Trade, barring that of essential goods, has come to a standstill.

States such as Maharashtra have begun a partial opening up of markets, but majority of non-essential trade remains shut in other parts of the country.

Traders in the state of Maharashtra reported the highest loss in business as the state moved towards implementing curbs much ahead of others.

“Out of the total business loss of about 15 trillion, retail format has lost 9 trillion while the wholesale trade in the country suffered a loss of about 6 trillion. It is estimated that Maharashtra suffered a business loss of about 1.50 trillion, Delhi, a loss of about 40,000 crore, Gujarat about 75,000 crore, Uttar Pradesh about 85,000 crore, Madhya Pradesh about 45,000 crore, Rajasthan about 35,000 crores, Chhattisgarh about 27,000 cores, Karnataka about 70,000 crore, Tamil Nadu about 80,000 crore and likewise the other states have incurred substantial business loss during past two months," Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general, CAIT said.

Traders across the country have no option but to cut down on business expenses including downsizing of workforce.

"Traders across India are seriously contemplating releasing at least 30-40% of their workforce as they cannot afford to pay the salaries anymore," said Khandelwal.

CAIT has appealed for financial stimulus for the country’s large and small traders and reduction in compliances.

"We are not asking for any loan waiver but the support policies from both central and state government, temporary relaxations in statutory compliances, and ease of restoring business" CAIT representatives said.

Any relief package decision must be made with consultation from the trading community, they said.

“The traders are not the responsibility of the Central Government alone, but State Governments are also liable for traders of their respective states, and they cannot escape from their responsibility," they said.

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