Andhra Pradesh

Incentivising ‘good public behaviour’ during pandemic

Encouraging sign: A medical shop puts up a banner offering 2% discount on purchases to those who adhere to the COVID-19 protocol, in Anantapur on Thursday.

Encouraging sign: A medical shop puts up a banner offering 2% discount on purchases to those who adhere to the COVID-19 protocol, in Anantapur on Thursday.  

The district administration has decided to relax the ‘lockdown’ norms from Friday by allowing shops to remain open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day and removing the curbs imposed on vehicular movement in the city.

In a strategy to ‘replace punishment with incentive’, the administration has decided to infuse a sense of responsibility towards public health and minimising spread of COVID-19.

It has come up with the idea of letting businessmen and traders offer discounts to customers, who diligently follow the COVID safety principles of wearing masks, keeping six-foot distance, using sanitiser and spending least possible time in the markets.

Discounts galore

If you are buying a pair of shoes without resorting to trial at a showroom, you get a discount of 15% and a similar reduction in the final bill is promised by cloth merchants and shop owners, Collector Gandham Chandrudu told The Hindu.

If you buy a new cellphone, the screen guard and pouch/case will be offered free.

The most crowded part of the city is the vegetable wholesale market near Ananthasagar tank bund and now flex banners have come up there, announcing free transport to all retailers anywhere in the city if they followed the COVID-19 protocol.

Some medical shops have already put up banners announcing an additional 2% discount for ‘good behaviour’.

Meeting on SOPs

While relaxing the travel restrictions, the municipal corporation and the district police held a meeting with representatives of trade organisations to explain the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Municipal Commissioner P.V.VS. Murthy and Deputy Superintendent of Police G. Veeraraghava Reddy dealt with what they expected from the trading community and how instead of penalising them, they would like to see the customers incentivised helping the traders grow their business volumes in an orderly manner.

Mr. Reddy said even the barricades on the thoroughfares would be removed till evening allowing free flow of traffic so that physical distance was maintained.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 4:10:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/incentivising-good-public-behaviour-during-pandemic/article32348542.ece

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