After the corona lockdown, now that markets are open all over the country and a very low amount of business has begun in the markets, the change in working hours of shops has emerged as one important issue among the trading community which has prompted the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) to sent a communication to the Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah today urging him to revise the working hours of the shops from current 10 am to 7pm to 9am to 4pm and also revise the Banking hours to 11am to 5pm. This change will bring an end to “peak hours” concept in traffic whereas it will also be beneficial for the environment and on the other side, the risk of untoward incidents by anti-social elements could also be curtailed to a great extent.
The CAIT is holding daily video conferences with trade leaders of different States from 25th March on a regular basis and this suggestion of revising the working hours has erupted on the basis of conversations with trade leaders of the Country. The CAIT has also said that some traders may have different opinions on this subject, but now this change is very important to fulfill the obligations towards family and also to meet social, religious and family obligations by the traders.
National President of CAIT, Mr. B.C. Bhartia and Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal in the communication sent to Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah said that traders from all over the country without having any support from the Government particularly post-Independence, the 7 crore traders with their hard work have been able to generate an annual turnover of India’s retail trade upto Rs. 50 lakh crore but due to the circumstances arising out of the lock-down caused by Corona, there is a need to change the current business model of the Country’s retail market, which will be now based on business discipline, complying laws, linking business with digital technology, customer satisfaction and priority to a family shall be the guiding principles. Therefore, the revision in working hours is the first fundamental change which is highly required. Not only the traders but even their employees will also be greatly benefitted with a change in the timings of the shops.
Shri Bhartia and Shri Khandelwal also said that if the time of shops is changed, it is much necessary that the time of shopping malls should also be changed accordingly to maintain uniformity in the entire retail trade of the Country. They also said that with the change of behaviour pattern in consumers, e-commerce shopping will increase manifold and traders will also have to bring their business on digital platforms besides having physical models as well.
Taking a serious note of this change, the CAIT under a national campaign is all set to launch its e-commerce portal “bharatemarket” very soon and the process of onboarding the traders on e-commerce platform has already begun. It will be a fully indigenous e-commerce portal where offline traders will have their own “e-dukaan” through which they can serve their customers round the clock.
Mr. Bhartia and Mr. Khandelwal said that the traders living in the houses during the lockdown have realized that the family for which they were working overnight continuously but were not able to give proper time but with the revision in timings, the traders will be more accessible to family now and will also be able to discharge their family and social obligations in a more easy manner.