Traders across the country may shut their businesses on Sunday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a 'Janata Curfew' on that day, urging citizens to stay indoors to prevent spread of novel coronavirus, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has said.
The traders' body would take the final decision on the shutdown on Friday.ALSO READ: Kerala govt announces Rs 20,000 crore package amid coronavirus spread
"In response to the clarion call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for imposing self Janata Curfew on 22 March, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) appreciated the call of Prime Minister and the commercial markets across the country will take part in Janata Curfew and seven crore business establishments in the country may down their shutters on 22 March," CAIT GeneraL Secretary Praveen Khandelwal said.ALSO READ: Janata curfew, economic task force: Modi scales up coronavirus fight
"A final decision to the call for nationwide market closure on 22 March will be taken tomorrow after having consultations with trade leaders of all states," he added.
Khandelwal also said that CAIT lauded the formation of Covid-19 taskforce under the chairmanship of Finance Minister, also announced by the Prime Minister in his televised address, terming it a right step which will mitigate the problems and concerns of the traders.
As a test case to prepare for future challenges, he asked them to observe a janata curfew — a self-imposed curfew —“of, for and by the people” from 7 am to 9 pm on Sunday. ALSO READ: Coronavirus deaths in Italy overtake China as economic damage mounts He also asked people not to resort to “panic buying” of eatables, adding that it would be ensured there was no scarcity of milk, eatables, and medicines. In his nearly half-an-hour speech, Modi said the pandemic had already deeply hurt the economic interests of the middle class, the lower middle class, and the poor. He asked those running businesses, and also those in high-income groups, to protect the interests of people who provided them with services, and not cut their wages and salaries even if they did not come to work.