New Delhi: Suffering from heavy losses owing to the nationwide lockdown, micro retailers on Monday urged the government to let small shops open immediately. Also Read - Amid Lockdown, Assam, Meghalaya Allow Opening of Liquor Shops From Monday

The Federation of Retailer Association of India (FRAI), a representative body of about four crore micro, small and medium retailers, told the government that the daily income flow of petty retailers has stopped completely since the lockdown, and sought compensation for their income losses.

The Federation also questioned as to why big grocery shops are allowed to run, while small shopkeepers are being asked to shut shops.

“While big grocery shops selling essential commodities are allowed to operate during the lockdown, why should our small shopkeeper brothers, who also sell similar goods of daily public needs, be deprived to earn their livelihood, RAI President Ram Asre Mishra asked.

Saying that they must be allowed to ‘open their shops immediately’, Mishra also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately announce an economic package to compensate the losses of the petty retailers in their daily income under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

The association further said that March to June are the important months for small retailers to earn extra money and save.

“Unfortunately, this lockdown has come at the time of the peak months for them and they have already given up the hope to make extra income during the peak season. These poor individuals and their families are now facing certain poverty and survival challenges,” it said.