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Traders incur over 50% business loss in first 15 days of 2022 due to Covid restrictions: Survey

Credit and Finance for MSMEs: “The main reason for this decline is the panic among people due to the third wave of Corona, reluctant mood of traders to come from neighbouring cities for goods distribution, money crunch, large sums of money getting stuck in credit and government imposing of Covid restrictions without consulting traders,” said CAIT.

Credit and Finance for MSMEs: Restrictions imposed by the government to control rising Covid cases across the country has cost traders significant loss in business. The first 15-day average business loss in the new year was over 50 per cent, traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said on Monday. The average loss during the first week of the year was 45 per cent. CAIT, which represents around 8 crore traders across about 40,000 trade associations in India, said the estimate was based on a survey conducted by its research arm CAIT Research and Trade Development Society from January 1 to January 15 in 36 cities of different states to gauge the impact of restrictions on businesses. 

“The main reason for this decline is the panic among people due to the third wave of Corona, reluctant mood of traders to come from neighbouring cities for goods distribution, money crunch, large sums of money getting stuck in credit and government imposing of Covid restrictions without consulting traders,” said CAIT.

India’s active Covid caseload on Monday stood at 16.56 lakh with 2.58 lakh new cases in 24 hours. Omicron tally stood at 8,209 so far, up 6.02 per cent from Sunday, data from Health Ministry showed. The daily positivity rate had also jumped to 19.56 per cent from 0.59 per cent a month ago. Multiple states have already pressed required restrictions including weekend lockdowns/curfews, night curfews, limited attendance for marriages and other social events. For instance, weekend curfew in Delhi, night curfew in Maharashtra. Maharashtra, West Bengal and Rajasthan had maximum cases – 1738, 1672, and 1276 respectively of Omicron. 

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Sector-wise, around 35 per cent business loss was reported in FMCG, 50 per cent in electronics, 50 per cent in mobiles, 35 per cent in daily consumption items, 60 per cent in footwear, 35 per cent in jewellery, 65 per cent in toys, 70 per cent in gift items, 50 per cent in builders’ hardware, 50 per cent in sanitaryware, 30 per cent in apparel, 40 per cent in textiles, 30 per cent in cosmetics, 50 per cent in furniture, 50 per cent in furnishing fabrics, 40 per cent in electrical goods, 50 per cent in suitcases and luggage, 30 per cent in food grains, 45 per cent in kitchen appliances, 40 per cent in watches, 40 per cent in computer and computer goods, 35 per cent in stationery and paper, said CAIT National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal in a joint statement. 

The confederation urged the central government and the chief ministers of all states to take necessary steps after consulting traders to ensure commercial and economic activities continue to without disruption. Traders and retailers had registered Rs 1.25 lakh crore sale during last Diwali along with a business loss of over Rs 50,000 crore to China amid call to boycott Chinese goods.

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