The Retailers Association of India (RAI) on Monday expressed concern over proposals for a total closure of retail stores, malls and restaurants during the G20 summit, which will be held in Delhi from September 8-10. The industry body has urged the Delhi government to allow at least some retail operations, citing the economic impact on the retail industry.
It added that Delhi has a rich culinary tradition and closing the markets would deprive tourists of the opportunity to taste authentic Indian dishes, which are an important part of our cultural showcase.
In a statement, the RAI said it commended the Delhi government’s decision to declare a three-day public holiday in the capital, but also urged the state government to reconsider the full shutdown of retail businesses. “The RAI is committed to fully complying with any standard operating procedures (SOPs) provided and recommends a more deliberate approach to closures, possibly focusing on specific areas during peak hours or close to G20 venues such as Lutyensderry,” the statement added.
Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI, said: “Retail is an integral part of Delhi’s cultural identity. The complete closure of retail and dining venues during the G20 summit will deprive international tourists of India’s unique experience. Shopping and food scene. We urge Delhi government to allow at least some retail operations to promote ‘Sell in India’ scheme alongside ‘Make in India’.”
In a petition to the Delhi government, the industry body said the three-day total shutdown would have “significant economic impacts on the retail sector, potentially endangering the livelihoods of numerous employees and their families”.
Rahul Mehta, chief mentor at the Garment Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI), said: “The three-day closure of Delhi’s stores and malls will have a significant impact on apparel retail sales. Nearly 40%, equating to more than 10% of the August sales budget. This is a substantial percentage. While we understand and value the government’s security concerns, we are willing to cooperate. Nevertheless, we would like a more viable approach, Examples include designated closing times, more precisely defined geographic areas, and other regulatory approaches.”