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NEW DELHI: Trade association Confederation of All India Traders, or CAIT, that represents scores of small and large retailers across the country on Wednesday wrote to Anil Baijal, lieutenant governor of Delhi, citing concerns over the recently announced restrictions aimed at controlling the rising cases of covid-19 in the national capital.

On Monday, the Delhi sounded a yellow alert, as part of GRAP (Graded Response Action Plan), after observing that the covid positivity rate in the capital has stayed above 0.5% for two consecutive says. As part of the restrictions, malls and shops are allowed to open on an odd-even basis, between 10 am and 8 pm. Online deliveries can continue. A night curfew has also been introduced.

Businesses have suffered significant losses in the last two years, CAIT said in its letter. “Therefore , smooth conduct of trade may also be kept in mind while deciding restriction . In particular we would like to mention that the odd-even scheme is not practical and extremely irrelevant."

“It will be appreciated that the restrictions should be imposed in a way that it is able to protect people from covid whereas on the other hand , the economic activities should not hamper," CAIT added.

While, members of CAIT appreciated the government’s concern over the surge in covid-19 cases in the city, they added that restrictions announced so far have been taken in “haste" without holding keeping stakeholders in mind.

“Instead of the odd-even scheme it's better that Delhi markets be divided into different zones and each market can open at different timings and thus the influx of the people can be reduced considerably," CAIT said in its letter. The odd-even response causes extreme inconvenience to the public, it said.

It also called for a complete ban on political or social events in Delhi. “Work from home culture should be promoted as much as possible. Movements of non-vaccinated people should be prohibited. We would like to assure you of our commitment to stand with the Government in ensuring that Delhi does not witness the same scenes as seen in the second wave," the traders’ body said in its letter.

Delhi has ordered temporary closure of schools, gyms as well as cinema halls, and directed private offices to function with 50% staff. Only 20 people have been allowed for weddings and funerals.

CAIT has sought that banquet and farm houses assigned to hold weddings be allowed to operate at 50% capacity.

"We also would like to raise our concern for the banquet, restaurants and facility providing sector which has seen its worst days in the last two years and currently is on the verge of recouping the losses," it added.

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