Delhi budget: Traders cast doubt on government plan to promote night economy and shopping party

Several traders’ associations in the nation’s capital on Saturday cast doubt on the Delhi government’s plans to promote the night economy, saying the law and order situation in the city is “poor” and that there is no It’s not safe to open businesses and stores beyond a certain time. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has outlined a ‘Rozgar budget’, focused on creating 20 lakh jobs in five years by creating an e-city and promoting the night economy, retail markets and wholesale in the capital.

Reacting to the budget, Sanjeev Mehra, chairman of the Khan Market Traders Association, said the night economy would overburden the police.

“The idea of ​​promoting the night economy will overload the police and it is not safe in town to open shops beyond a specific time. If the business is not there on the day, so what’s the point of opening stores overnight,” Mehra said.

Regarding job creation, Mehra said the market was still reeling from the shutdown due to COVID-19. “We cannot expect job creation until market conditions return to pre-Covid times.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Atul Bhargava, president of the National Delhi Trade Association, said there was no point in keeping shops open past 11 p.m. as there are usually no sales. Bhargava also suggested that the government should focus on developing market infrastructure.

“Promoting night markets is not a good idea given the law and order situation in the city. And we saw that there is no sale after 9:30 p.m.,” Bhargava said.

As part of its “Rozgar budget”, the government of Kejriwal has also announced that it will hold shopping festivals to promote the city’s retail and wholesale markets. An amount of Rs 250 crore has been allocated for this in the 2022-23 budget.

This too received a lukewarm response from traders. Traders said such initiatives have failed in the past.

“It’s good that the government is taking such initiatives because now the market is opening because the COVID-19 situation is improving and businesses will resume. In addition, international flights are also resuming, tourist movement will also increase We hope these initiatives help improve businesses,” said Darshan Kakkar, President of the Palika Bazaar Association.

“While it’s a good idea to start a shopping festival, proper planning is needed because festivals have been held in the past and they failed,” Kakkar said.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of All Traders of India (CAIT) has called the budget “hopeless”.

“This reflects Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s negative attitude towards Delhi’s business community and we strongly condemn the budget,” said CAIT General Secretary Praveen Khandelwal.

Khandelwal said it is “very unfortunate” that at a time when Delhi’s commerce is reeling from severe financial constraints and trying to overcome “the negative impact of the COVID pandemic, the city government has not ‘has allocated no funds for business development in Delhi either, it comes to the rescue of traders who are facing financial crisis’.

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