Over 100 traders’ associations in Delhi have decided to observe a voluntary lockdown for one week in order to contain the spread of Covid-19. This decision comes at a time when the city is reporting record number of Covid-19 cases and deaths every day.
The voluntary lockdown will start from April 26 and will continue till May 2. The decision was taken at a video conference held by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).
CAIT has already urged Delhi L-G Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to extend the current lockdown (ending at 5am on Sunday) for one more week.
During their virtual meeting, the traders’ leaders said considering the present situation of medical facilities in Delhi and rising Covid-19 cases, it will be appropriate to continue closure of shops for one more week from April 26.
The associations said they hope that the government will be able to control the spread of Covid-19 and augment necessary medical facilities in Delhi.
The associations said if the Delhi government does not want to officially extend the lockdown by one more week for any reason, they will observe a voluntary lockdown.
The lockdown would be purely voluntary and if any association wants to open its local market, they would be free to do so.
CAIT however clarified that all essential services will continue during the voluntary lockdown as per government’s guidelines.
The traders’ body has meanwhile urged Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to waive off GST rate on medical oxygen which at present is 18 per cent.
The body has also urged the Centre to abolish custom duty and medical cess on oxygen concentrator so that more people can import oxygen concentrators and the demand can be reduced to some extent.