“Sarkar Jagao Vanijya Bachao Sangharsh Samiti” (SJVBSS) is a conglomerate of Most Affected Sectors, like bars, restaurants, food joints, hotels, mangal karyalay, tent house, caterers, coaching classes, malls, resorts, etc., since first lockdown announced in March 2020 and particularly after state government’s scientific order dated 04/06/2021 notifying 5-level restriction to lock/unlock the district, due to deviation of the said order by District Disaster Management Authority including State Disaster Management Authority.
The most affected sectors from the district, realising their responsibility as citizens first then as a businessman, accepted to conduct their business in covid appropriate behaviour as per prescribed restrictions since early February 2021 as the corona cases were on rise in the district and medical infrastructure was in strain. It is important to note that in the months of February, March & April 2021 western Maharashtra was working as in those area number of positive cases were at bay.
On 4th June 2021 government of Maharashtra notified a 5-Level restriction order prescribed combination of local positivity rate, local occupancy rate of oxygen-bed and overall occupancy of oxygen-bed in state as indicator for early warning of surge in positive cases and proportionate change in economic activities (lock/unlock) within the jurisdictional area of concerned DDMA/Local Authority.
Nagpur District being under Level-1 on 4th June 2021 was expecting regular working from 7th June 2021, however to our surprise DDMA & NMC prescribed Level-3 with some extra working time restrictions without taking mandatory prior permission from SDMA.
After much representations and hue & cry local administration under their order dated 18th June 2021 relaxed working hours from 21st June 2021. However due to 21 cases of Covid Delta Plus reported in western Maharashtra state government under their order dated 25th June 2021 placed entire state under Level-3 restriction form 28th June 2021 with directions to DDMA’s to watch for two weeks trend before lowering the restrictions.
It is pertinent to note the 7-day average positivity rate of Nagpur since first formulated by State Government.
- On the base level dated i.e. on 3rd June 2021 positivity rate was 2.43% and instead of Lelev-1 relaxation local authority imposed Level-3 restriction
- On 21st June 2021 the positivity rate was 0.58% when relaxation in working hours was given to non-essential services, malls, restaurants and bars and coaching classes. Relaxation in social gatherings, marriages and many other activities were permitted to work as regular.
- On 28th June 2021 when Level-3 restrictions were imposed across the sate including Nagpur the positivity rate was 0.41%. Malls & Coaching classes were closed; working hours of shops, bars & restaurants were restricted. Gatherings and timings of social events and marriages too restricted.
- On 12th July 2021 when additional restrictions were placed on bars & restaurants the positivity rate was 0.32%.
- On 24th July 2021 the positivity rate of Nagpur District as is 0.16%.
- The active cases have come down from 4816 on 3rd June 2021 to 244 on 24th July 2021.
- The hospitals have closed their respective covid wads and have returned to normal working.
- It is learnt from media reports that Ajit dada Pawar the Dy. Chief Minister of State and Guardian Minister for Pune, has announced to relax working hours in Pune where positivity rate is reported by media to be 3.49%.
It is undisputed fact that Corona Virus is going to stay here for a longer period than anticipated and 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th wave of virus is inevitable.
In the light of above facts and circumstances and the dilly-dallying tactics (chalta hai attitude) adopted by the government and her agencies have pushed the most affected sectors on verge of collapse. They are finding it difficult to maintain their establishments and staff. They are left with no option to relive their employees and few have already closed their operation and ended the services of their employees. If this situation continues for a couple of weeks more, then majority of them will pull down their shutters permanently resulting large scale unemployment and surge in NPA (default in bank loan/EMI).
In this backdrop the most affected sectors have joined hands to form the Sarkar Jagao Vanijya Bachao Sangharsh Samiti. The members of samiti under taking “HALLA BOL” movement have met below mentioned public representatives and submitted SJVBSS memorandum of demand with specific request to openly stand in support the sangharsh samiti and impress upon state government to implement relaxation / restrictions in Nagpur District as per 5-level order dated 4th June 2021.
Sarvashri (in alphabetical order) Abhijit Wanjari, Ashish Jaiswal, Dayashankar Tiwari, Devendra Fadnavis, Duneshwar Pethe, Dushant Chatuvedi, Girish Vyas, Krishna Khopde, Krupal Tumane, Mohan Mate, Nana Patole, Nitin Gadkari, Nitin Raut, Parinay Fuke, Pravin Datke, Sameer Meghe, Sunil Kedar, Tekchand Sawarkar, Vijay Wadettiwar, Vikas Kumbhare, Vikas Mahatme and Vikas Thakre.
For illustration permit room / restaurant / food joints / cloud kitchen data is given to indicate the gravity of the situation
There are about 665 permit rooms in Nagpur District. There are about 2000 restaurants, food joints & cloud kitchens registered on various online portals in Nagpur district and the numbers can go upto 5000 if small food joints and dhabas are considered. We are unable to estimate the number of food cart entrepreneurs hence impact on them cannot be assessed.
This sector gives direct regular employment to about 1,00,000 persons and on weekends additional 25000 persons. A host of small traders and ancillary service providers are dependent on healthy food joint industry. Due to prevailing uncertainty over the sector since last 1½ years the employment of about 50000 direct employees is in limbo, many of them have been requested by there employer to search other job and their family are on verge of starvation.
The industry experts estimate Rs. 200 Crore to Rs 300 Crore loss in monthly revenue compelling management for salary cut of employees resulting in less take home salary and ultimately reducing purchasing power of common man adversely impacting Indian economy. Loss of revenue to sector also reduces tax & duties to government.
The Tent Hose (Mandap), Decoration, Backstage, Photography and Catering industry is highly labour intensive and the sector is facing existential crisis due to restricted gathering in social events and marriages. The cascading adverse effect of dying mandap / decoration industry is felt by fabric and floriculture and the adverse effect of diminishing catering industry is felt by grocery and food grain traders.
We are responsible citizens first, then businessman, we appreciate the concern of authorities in restricting operation for a certain length of time in apprehension of a rise in COVID-19 cases, but this cannot continue indefinitely turning blind eye to change in circumstances. Though the policy decision for temporary restrictions may not be termed as arbitrary or discriminatory but the legitimate expectation of business community for fair treatment, in conformity with the ethos of the Constitution of India cannot be denied. Hence Sangharsh Samiti strongly demands that the decision to implement higher-level restrictions should be reviewed and modified particularly for Nagpur District where there is continued decrease in the number of active COVID-19 cases, positivity rate and in occupancy of oxygen beds.
- Whether the government and administration guarantee that covid positive cases will not increase if such higher restrictions are placed on economic activities?
- Whether the government and the administration guarantee that covid cases will not increase when economic activities are resumed fully?
- Whether the government and administration guarantee that even after such restricted working 3rd wave hits the state the citizens will not encounter with the trauma they faced during 1st wave and more during 2nd wave?
- It is known fact that during 1st wave the business community worked shoulder to shoulder with local administration and NOS’s to serve the needy, strangled migrant labour and homeless. During 2nd wave local administration and constitutional courts banked upon the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds of corporates to create instant medical facilities including Oxygen supply to mitigate the hardship faced by citizens. Even a layman can conclude that business community doesn’t hold abound wealth (Kubare ka Khajana) his resources have to be replenished by new earnings and if he is not permitted to work during normal times how could he be prepared to open his door for charity during anticipated 3rd wave of virus.
In our endeavour to awaken the government (Sarkar Jagao) so as to preserve the entrepreneurship (Vanijya Bachao) we intent to demonstrate our resentment to present policy of neglecting these most affected sectors we shall undertake –
- Peaceful & silent protest march from Samvidhan (RBI) square to the O/o Nagpur Collector and Nagpur Municipal Commissioner at 4.00 pm on Monday the 26th July 2021.
- Car / Bike Rally on Tuesday the 27th July 2021 starting from Hislop College and concluding by garlanding statue of Gandhiji at Varity square passing through Law College Square, Coffee House Square, Shankar Nagar Square, Jhansi Rani Square, Panchsheel Square, Mehadia Square, Great Nag Road, Mokshdham Square, Baidyanath Square, Jagnade Square, Gangabai Ghat Square, Telephone Exchange Square, Agrasen Square, Mayo Hospital Square, Ram Jhula, Railway Station Flyover, Manas Square, Morris College T Point.
We once again vehemently protest the chalta hai attitude adopted by government and administration towards the entrepreneurs by imposing higher restriction in contrary to their own orders and not compensating the entrepreneurs for the loss incurred due to erroneous decisions and strongly demand that government should immediately announce relief package for the affected entrepreneurs and direct DDMA to implement Level-1 relaxation in Nagpur District with immediate effect, else the protest could intensify and government shall be responsible for the same.
Following trade associations have voluntarily extended their support to Sarkar Jagao Vanijya Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (in alphabetically order)
- Association of Coaching Institutes (ACI)
- Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry and Trade (CAMIT)
- Consumer Products Distributers Association, Nagpur (CPDA)
- Nagpur Custom House Agents Association (NCHAA)
- Nagpur Eatery Owners’ Association (NEOA)
- Nagpur Hotel Owners Association (NHOA)
- Nagpur Mangal Karyalay Lawn Association (NMKLA)
- Nagpur Photographers & Drone Association (NPDA)
- Nagpur Residential Hotels Association (NRHA)
- Nagpur Shipping Lines Agents Association (NSLAA)
- Nagpur Tent House Association (NTHA)
- Nagpur Zillah Restaurant Permit-Room Association (NZRPA)
- Steel & Hardware Chamber of Vidarbha
- TIE – Nagpur
- Travels Association of Nagpur (TAN)
- Vidarbha Amusement & Water Park Association (VAWA)
- Vidarbha Amusement & Water Parks Association (VAWA)
- Vidarbha Backstage Association (VBA)
- Vidarbha Computer & Media Dealer’s Welfare Association (VCMDWA)
- Vidarbha Generator Owners Association (VGOA)
- Vidarbha LED Association (VLA)
- Vidarbha Light Owners Association (VLOA)
- Vidarbha Pen & Stationers Association (VPSA)
- Vidarbha Wine Merchants Association (VWMA)