K’taka Traders Seek Aid to Cover Losses As Govt Extends Lockdown
Traders sought concessions for the business community from the government due to mounting losses.
Traders from Karnataka have requested aid from the state government, as they brace themselves to face more hardships after the government extended the lockdown until 7 June on Friday, 21 May.
The Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) sought concessions for the business community from the government due to mounting losses.
FKCCI president Periklal Sundar said in his statement to the media that they want the government to waive fixed charges on power levied by state-run distributors on all industrial and commercial establishments under lockdown.
On Friday, the BS Yediyurappa-led Karnataka government extended the state-wide lockdown till 7 June. The lockdown was first imposed on 27 April because of the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city.
The trade body also asked the government for the payment of water bills to be deferred by three months – till 31 August – since business activities were abruptly halted.
Sundar also reiterated that they want a 50 percent reduction in property taxes and license fee for all industries and commercial firms and a deferment in payment by three months.
He also asserted that the state government should reimburse wages paid to the employees of the traders, manufacturers, businesses and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for three months.
Alternately, the body demanded that the state government credit Rs 10,000 per month in the bank accounts of all employees working in the private sector, as a financial package, said Sundar in his statement.
Agriculture Producers Market Committee's (APMC) yards and businesses should be allowed to function from 6 am to 6 pm from 24 May to recover from the losses, he added.
The trade body demanded to remain operational after 24 May, at least in Bengaluru, where COVID-19 cases have declined. They requested a permit for inter-district movement of people in trade and services sectors.
Prakash Pirgal, Bengaluru Wholesale Cloth Merchants’ Association President, told TOI that they should be allowed to open their shops at least once a week, while Karnataka Dyes and Chemical Merchants’ Association chief Nirmal Jain was quoted saying that the local businesses are suffering due to mobility issues in the lockdown while e-commerce is thriving.
Correspondingly, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (FKCC) had asked the Chief Minister for aid due to the financial crisis because of the lockdown for the people working in the Kannada film industry. KFCC secretary NM Suresh in a memorandum to the CM wrote that 18,000 people have been without work since 27 April.
The chief minister recently announced a Rs 1,250 crore relief package to people working in the unorganised sector, as they have been in distress since the lockdown has curtailed or halted their earnings.
Beneficiaries of the package included floriculture and horticulture farmers, barbers, tailors, domestic workers, auto and taxi drivers, weavers, construction labour and folk-artiste troupes.
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