Tribune News Service
Amritsar, May 3
Even as the state government ruled out imposition of curfew on April 30, yet imposition of fresh guidelines reminded the traders of the last year’s complete shutdown and the losses faced by them.
All kinds of business establishments, markets and general stores remained closed following imposition of the new norms. Police parties roamed around the city roads to enforce the closure and barricaded several roads.
Barring those shops selling essential commodities, all other commercial establishments were closed. Police personnel issued challans to those vehicles which violated the Covid-19 norms.
Piara Lal Seth, President of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal (PPBM), said all work related activities were closed and people without work were allowed to move freely on roads. Unemployment is at its peak and thefts are rampantly taking place daily, pointing to the deplorable state of the society. “Factories have been allowed to operate and shops were stopped. How long factories can operate without trading.” Already, a large number of trains and buses were off roads. Export was closed last year after international flights were withdrawn and the situation continues to remain so.
He alleged that the Covid-19 norms such as social distancing, wearing of masks and carrying sanitisers were not being complied with at the vegetable and fruit market at Vallah.
All those businesses associated with IT sector hardware, software, all hospitals and medical labs, those selling poultry products were allowed to open. These establishments have been earning handsomely since the imposition of the lockdown last year, he added.
He accused the government of introducing new norms to hide its weaknesses as it failed to provide enough vaccines, oxygen and other medical equipments necessary to combat Covid-19.
Anil Kapoor, President of Amritsar Distributors Association, said, the new norms, which were no less than a lockdown, would cause great losses. The Capt Amarinder Singh government earned its highest ever revenue collection last April since the introduction of the GST. “It is bound to come down this month”. As a direct fallout of the lockdown, most of the traders were not clearing their pending dues of the last month. As per the rules of the FMCG business dues are cleared every month.
A local resident Manjot Singh said he ordered new furniture for his home which was to be delivered on Friday as he had paid nearly 75 percent in advance. However, the new norms shattered entire plans of his family.
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