Traders threaten to open shops on all days from Thursday

Hardening its stance against the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti has said it will reopen all shops and commercial establishments on all days from Thursday onwards, if the State government does not take a favourable stance soon.

Ever since the second wave struck two months back, only shops selling essentials and restaurants providing food parcels are being allowed to function on all days.

The samiti has been for the past few weeks demanding that the government ease the restrictions so that all commercial establishments are allowed to function on all days. It has also taken a stance against the weekend lockdown, during which almost all establishments stay shuttered.

Except the shops for essentials, all other establishments are allowed to function only on three days. In addition, there are several other types of shops, including those selling home appliances, furniture, and other material, which have not yet been allowed to open.

The decision was announced after a meeting of the samiti’s State committee on Monday afternoon. A joint statement of samiti president T. Naseeruddin, general secretary Raju Apsara, and treasurer Devasia Mechery said the shops would function on all days by following the COVID-19 protocol.

Earlier in the day, the samiti leaders met Minister for Local Self-Government M.V.Govindan and handed over a memorandum of their demands.

“The Minister assured us to look at our demands favourably. But it is hard for us to survive without reopening shops in the current situation,” said Peringamala Ramachandran, samiti vice president.

Recent weeks had witnessed the suicide of a lights and sounds shop owner and a goldsmith after their businesses had run into losses due to the extended lockdown. The samiti had staged protests following the deaths.

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