FJCCI appeals to traders to close shops from Apr 21-25

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Ranchi: The Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FJCCI), the umbrella organisation of traders, entrepreneurs and industrial houses in the state, on Monday appealed to its affiliates to go on a voluntary five-day lockdown from Wednesday to slow down the transmission of coronavirus.
Speaking to reporters after am executive committee-level meeting at its headquarters in Main Road, FJCCI president Pravin Kumar Jain (Chabra) said: “As per the health experts and doctors who are at the frontline, a lockdown is the only way to slow down the rate of transmission in Jharkhand. The current situation is very alarming and we appeal to all the businessmen and entrepreneurs to voluntarily close their establishments from the afternoon of April 21 till April 25.”
FJCCI’s public appeal comes a day after traders in Ranchi’s Shastri Market closed their shops till April 25 over fears of them, their family members and their staff getting infected.
After 115 shops in Shastri Market downed shutters, several business establishments in the city’s Lalji Hirjee Road closed indefinitely from 1 pm on Monday. They had initially decided to shut shops only till April 25 but they changed it after witnessing the surge in cases. “The decision was taken collectively by the traders and citizens of the area. The scarcity of Covid-19 beds and oxygen in the city points towards the fact that a lockdown is the only way out,” Deepak Kumar Maroo, former FJCCI president, said.
FJCCI also appealed to the housing societies to stock up on oxygen concentrator machines for emergency use if they have any Covid patients in home isolation.
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) are a worried lot over the growing Covid-19 cases statewide. Already hit by months of closure due to the nationwide lockdown last year, MSMEs are staring at a complete breakdown if a lockdown is imposed. “There are several fixed expenses such as power, labour, interests, which can be met only if the factories are running. But we fear for the lives of ourselves and our staff. The challenge is to strike a balance between both,” Philip Mathew, the president of Jharkhand Small Industries Association (JSIA), told TOI.
On April 17, the JSIA sent out a public appeal to all its members and said while it was not possible to completely shut down their establishments, the entrepreneurs must focus on maximizing the work-from-home culture.