New Delhi: Retailers have incurred around $30 billion losses in the past 15 days due to the lockdown announced by the government to contain Covid-19 spread, according to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). Also Read - Over 30% Retailers May Shut Shops in 6 Months if Govt Doesn’t Provide Support: RAI
“The losses incurred by the retail trade in the last 15 days due to the Covid-19 pandemic is $30 billion,” the CAIT said, here on Tuesday. Also Read - Domestic Demand For Petrol, Diesel Drastically Declines Even on Lower Retail Prices
According to the CAIT, the retail sector, comprising 70 million small, medium and big traders employing 450 million people, does $70 billion business a month. It has been hit the hardest as the pandemic has halted the wheels of Indian economy. Also Read - Coronavirus: Order to Close Malls And Multiplexes Will Affect India's Retail Sector, Say Experts
“Truth, as we are seeing it today, is more frightening than fiction. The human cost of coronavirus is going to be unimaginably high. Also, it’s going to end up having an unprecedented economic cost,” the CAIT said.
CAIT national president B.C. Bhartia and secretary general Praveen Khandelwal said even if global economies and other sectors of the Indian economy bounced back sooner than expected, Indian traders were likely to pay a high price and its ramifications would reverberate longer time than expected.
Khandelwal said as the import cycle had been hit, Indian traders might not have enough goods to sell even after lifting of the lockdown.
“Finished goods’ imports from China, the USA and Europe, which are reeling under Covid-19, will take more time to normalise. The import cycle and supply chain might take longer to get back on track,” Khandelwal said.