'Only standalone shops to open; malls continue to remain shut'

Updated: Apr 26, 2020, 07:48 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

CAIT issues caution to traders to follow orders by state governments and sanitise shops before resuming business

In Paharganj, New Delhi, a vendor waits for customers with a stray dog in tow on Saturday. Pic/PTI
In Paharganj, New Delhi, a vendor waits for customers with a stray dog in tow on Saturday. Pic/PTI

After a late night order on reopening of shops amid the Coronavirus lockdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday issued a clarification saying that only standalone shops are allowed to open. It further stated that the order does not apply to COVID-19 containment zones or liquor stores. "In urban areas, all standalone/neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes are allowed to open. Shops in markets/market complexes and shopping malls are not allowed to open," the ministry clarified.

The ministry clarified that sales by ecommerce companies will continue to be restricted to essential goods only. It also cleared that liquor stores will be shut as the relaxations do not apply to them. "Sale of liquor and other items continues to be prohibited as specified in the National Directives for COVID-19 management," it added.

Don't hurry: CAIT to traders
The largest traders' body Confederation of All India Traders lauded the decision, but issued a caution to the traders to follow orders by their state governments in the matter and also sanitise shops and market places before resuming business. CAIT's national general secretary Praveen Khandelwal said, "The central government has taken this decision only after fully assessing the present circumstances." "We appeal to traders across the country to not open their shops in their extreme enthusiasm. Since trade and shops is a state subject, only states governments are empowered to take the decision," Khandelwal added.

Shops to open in Gujarat
The Gujarat government on Saturday declared that all the individual shops, neighbourhood shops and other small commercial activities outside containment zones will be permitted from Sunday.

No gatherings in UP
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday made it clear that no public gatherings will be allowed in the state till June 30. "CM Adityanath has given strict instructions to the officers that no crowd of any kind can gather until June 30," Mrityunjay Kumar, media advisor to Aditynath, said on Saturday.

4 N-E states COVID-19 free
With the recovery of the second patient in Tripura on Saturday, four of the eight northeastern states—Tripura, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim—have become Coronavirus-free, officials said on Saturday morning. According to health officials, there are 15 active cases in Assam, 11 in Meghalaya and one in Mizoram, besides a 33-year-old trader from Dimapur, Nagaland, undergoing treatment at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital since April 12.

'Halting DA unnecessary'
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday opposed the Central government's decision to cut back hike in dearness allowance of government employees and pensioners. In a video message released by the Congress, Singh said, "We should be on the side of people whose DA is being cut. I believe it is not necessary at this stage to enforce hardship on government servants and armed forces personnel."

Man kills wife over kids' future

A man in Delhi allegedly killed his wife after an argument over their children's future turned violent. The couple has nine children and the ongoing lockdown created uncertainty over their future. This was the second marriage for both of them. The accused himself informed the police about the incident. The incident took place in Madipur JJ Colony, which has been declared a containment zone by the authorities. The accused used a stick to kill her.

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