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West Bengal hawkers threaten protests if not extended cash support


Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Hawkers in West Bengal on Monday

threatened of staging protests if they are not extended cash support by the government, insisting that merely opening their stalls will not help them tide over the crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mamata Banerjee-led government had earlier in the day said that hawkers' markets will be allowed to reopen from May 27.

"We have told our hawker friends to be ready for protests if cash support is not received for six months either from the Centre or the state government. Already, hawkers are surviving on their business capital," National Hawker Federation general secretary Shaktiman Ghosh told PTI.

The hawkers' body said it welcomed the decision to allow reopening of stalls in the state but expressed apprehension about product sales amid the lockdown.

"We have written to the Centre that we don't require loans now, we require cash support of Rs 5,000 a month for a period of six months to survive," Ghosh said.

Some states like Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Odisha have given cash subsidies to hawkers, he claimed.

There are 16 lakh hawkers in West Bengal, out of which 2.75 lakh are in the metropolis.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 19 2020. 00:08 IST