The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) while acknowledging the measures taken by the Union Government to mitigate the disastrous situation created by the Corona outbreak in the country urged the Finance Minister to release a stimulus package for the 7 crore traders of the country to protect their survival in these tough times.
The CAIT said that while fighting with Corona in the present situation, there is also a need to draw a strategy as to how the trade and commerce in the Country need to react post-COVID-19.
CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia & Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal said that the relief given so far by the Government and the RBI needs more improvement to take care of the economy which is suffering from the slowdown, liquidity crunch & uncertainty. The present outbreak of coronavirus has further deepened the trouble of the struggling economy.
Government of India and Various State Governments have given different relief packages for various sectors of the economy, especially farmers in the past. However, this time a strong stimulus package is needed for the small businesses who are the contributor of a major chunk of revenue to the Government Treasury and are also the backbone of the Indian economy. The CAIT has strongly advocated an economic relief package for the traders of the Country.
Both Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal urged the Govt to intervene and provide for certain specific demands which include waiver of bank interest charges for the effective lockdown period on all kinds of loans, deferment of all Tax payments for three months to ease working capital and liquidity, capping of the rental to 25%-35% so that both landlord and tenant can survive the tough period, reductions in salary burden for the lockdown period.
The Government has issued a directive to pay full salaries to employees whereas the small trader is having to bear all his regular expenses without any relief. We have requested the Govt to prepare a formula where a certain percentage of salaries can be paid so that the employee and the trader both can survive.
They further urged that application of a condition of force majure is required to be put on ports, Railways and other places to cover the risk of goods already landed and are subject to huge demurrage. All Government payments to traders and others should be maintained made as per the 45 days norm. The refunds of traders under GST and Income Tax should be given immediately which may be a financial breather for the traders.
The CAIT has also proposed that the Govt provide the wholesalers & retailers and their employees dealing in Essential products with 50 lakh health insurance in tune with the announcement made for the medical fraternity. Interest subvention @ 3% p.a. in loans to MSME may provide as a measure to improve the sustainability in the market. The present norms related to collateral security need to be relaxed in view of the present economic scenario. Power Bills: only actual consumption must be charged. No fixed charges to be levied for 3 months. Presently, private limited companies are enjoying a concessional tax rate of 22% whereas partnership firms are chargeable to tax at a higher rate of 30%. It is requested to the tax rate of the partnership firm also to 22%.
The CAIT believed the above stimulus package would help in reviving the economy and most important will refuel the engines of the 70 million traders of India who have always stood in solidarity with the Government and have been extremely committed to achieving the 5 Trillion economy vision set by the Honourable Prime Minister.