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Steel City traders seek closure time extension by an hour

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The Times Of India
08th April, 2021 05:00 IST

Jamshedpur: Steel City traders have welcomed the state government’s decision to shut business establishments after 8pm, saying that it will be effective in crowd management amid rising cases of Covid-19.

Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) general secretary Vijay Anand Moonka said his organisation is rallying behind the decision. “However, traders will get some relief if they are allowed to keep their establishments open till 9pm,” Moonka added.

Jamshedpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) president Mohanlal Agarwal said human lives are more important than business. “The traders will incur some losses, but they have to stay fit and keep the virus at bay too,” Agarwal said.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said the second wave has made the traders apprehensive.

“If the Covid-19 scenario deteriorates, then the government might initiate stricter curbs. With Ramnavami around the corner and the marriage season scheduled to start later this month, traders across the board are hoping that the situation would come under control soon,” CAIT national secretary Suresh Sonthalia said.

Small-time traders, however, were a miffed lot. “Shorter business hours will hit sales. This will hurt GST collections and the officials will keep hounding us,” a garment store owner in Bistupur said.

Shopkeepers were also apprehensive about penalties. A mobile store owner in Sakchi was penalised last year for failing to maintain social distancing among customers in his store. “We can only request them to follow the guidelines. But the administration holds us responsible, which is unfair,” he said.

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