The Confederation of All India Traders informed that the losses incurred by the retail trade of the country in the last 15 days due to Covid-19 pandemic is a massive USD 30 Billion. The Indian retail sector comprising 70 million small medium and big traders employing 450 million people, does a monthly business of approximately USD 70 Billion, is one of the hardest hit due to this global pandemic which has put a deafening halt to the wheels of the Indian Economy.
Truth, as we are seeing it today, is way more frightening than fiction. The effect of the virus is likely to be seen long after medical science offers a cure or at least a vaccine for Covid-19, that’s because the economic cost of shutting down large parts of the country is going to be steep. A large percentage of the Indian traders are too small to have enough of a cushion to last through a pandemic like this one.
Most important reason for this devastating situation is the fact that a majority of the Indian traders have had to down shutters or curtail operations for health reasons, while still paying employees salaries and that’s apart from meeting costs for rentals, taxes and other levies.
The demand from Indian consumers after the lockdown might also be subdued because the maximum section of the Indian consuming class will be cash strapped and hard pressed for disposable income.. Finished goods imports from China, USA, Europe which are under severe effects of Covid-19 will take more time to normalise and therefore the import cycle and supply chain might take much longer to get back on track.Even Indian industries which are dependent on Imported raw material components will take a longer time to kickstart their operations due to shortage of raw materials.
If the production by Indian industries is not upto the mark, retailers will end up facing acute shortage of finished products. The association. Ok ok appealed to the government for concrete action like tax concessions, smooth and easy access to credit, GST write-offs, relaxation and reimbursements for wages, waiver of interest costs, among other demands.