Lakhs in the unorganised sector may suffer due to curbs

The clarification issued by Chief Secretary P. Ravi Kumar on Wednesday that all commercial establishments that were not expressly exempted from closure will be closed down till May 4 is likely to affect the livelihood of lakhs of workers in the unorganised sector.

In an addendum on Wednesday, Mr. Kumar said, “All shops/commercial establishments/private establishments except those mentioned shall remain closed,” during the curfew period. Exempted are shops selling basic essential commodities, restaurants for takeaway foods, lodging hotels, standalone liquor shops, food processing industries, banks and insurance, media, e-commerce, cold storage, hair dressers and construction activity/material.

Consequent to Wednesday’s clarification, police personnel along with officials from local bodies were closing down shops and establishments not dealing with basic essential commodities, including textile, automobile, jewellery, vehicle repair, dhobi, tailors, electronic, footwear, mobile phone sale and repair, cutlery, stationary and many more across the State.

The move affects life of general public too along with those depending upon these activities, rued Raviraj Kumar, a private sector employee. For example, if the automobile mechanic is forced to close his shop, one depending upon a vehicle for his daily avocation has no other option but sit at home if the vehicle develops technical snag, he said.

With thousands of marriage and other programmes lined up, people find it difficult to perform the ceremonies with the closure of textile and jewellery shops.

Chittaranjan Kumar, a bicycle repair shop owner in the city, was worried over leading life for the next fortnight. “Is the government providing free ration to lakhs of daily earners like me,” he asked.

Mr. Kumar further said that one would understand closure of malls, cinemas and restaurants that attract heavy footfall. How come standalone shops like his attract footfall, he wondered and added that those riding bicycles for fitness too would be in a difficult position if their bicycles needed repair.

It is a complete lockdown except that people’s movement was not curbed during the non-curfew hours, said Mahabala Rai, another resident.

Justifying the curbs, the Chief Secretary said that the government had watered down the curbs while issuing the April 20 order. The curbs were based on the recommendations of technical experts. The decision was painful for the government too, he said.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 1:57:01 PM |

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