Prolonged restrictions leave traders, consumers at a loss

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Pune: Traders and consumers in the city are unhappy with the adminstration’s decision to continue with the restrictions, including the 4pm limit for shops and weekend closure for outlets selling non-essential items.
Fatehchand Ranka, president of Federation of All Trade Associations of Pune, said, “We had written to the authorities with a request to revise the the timings to 11am-7pmBut we were not even been called for a meeting to voice our concerns.”
Expressing his concern over the helplessness of owners of salons and beauty parlours in Pune, Ganesh Walunjkar, working president of the Maharashtra Nabhik Mahamandal, said, “It is not financially feasible for such business owners to keep their establishments open when there are no customers even duringpermitted hours.”
Ganesh Shetty, president of the Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association, said the members were disappointed with the decision . “The authorities had promised us that they will look into reconsidering their decision about the deadline for restaurants,” he said.
There have been no norm relaxations in rural Pune from February. Narendra Gujarati, president of Baramati traders association, said, “The government needsto form a strategy to create a conducive atmosphere for traders.” Hotels, eateries and restaurants have not been permitted to start dine-in services in rural areas for the last four months. “People don’t come to collect takeaways in rural areas,” said Pandurang Kurhade, a restaurant owner in Khed tehsil. Similar sentiments were expressed by roadside dhabha owners in other tehsils. “We used to get advance bookings on weekends. But now there are no customers ,” said Sakent Jagtap, who runs a restaurant on the highway in Bhor tehsil.
Sandesh Shah, a garment wholesaler from Shirur, said, “Big functions such as village fairs are cancelled. This has badly affected our business.”