Market Watch

Traders of Sadar Bazaar await government help

Traders of Sadar Bazaar  await government help

Electrical items displayed at shops in Sadar Bazaar, near Books Market, Ludhiana. Shopkeepers say they don’t expect business to pick up in near future. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Anil Datt

Ludhiana, June 6

Shopkeepers dealing in Chinese electrical items at Sadar Bazaar market appear to be disappointed due to a drastic fall in the number of customers visiting the market.

The market, which houses around 200 shops, and remained abuzz with a large number of customers, is wearing a deserted look these days due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paramveer Singh, a shop owner and general secretary of the Ludhiana Electrical Merchants Association, said shopkeepers had suffered heavy losses due to the Covid-induced lockdown. “We did only 20 to 25 per cent business this year as compared to the corresponding period last year,” he said.

Paramveer said when the lockdown was lifted partially and activities were allowed with some restrictions, the association requested the district authorities to give them online business permit as was allowed in certain categories such as cloth merchants and essential commodities, but to no avail.

“Sales of fans and coolers are negligible. I don’t think the market conditions will improve in the near future,” he said.

He said: “Almost 80 per cent of electrical items in this market are imported from China. If the government comes up with a plan to replace these goods, only then traders and customers can think of going for Indian-made goods.”

Paramveer appealed to the state and Central governments to extend a helping hand to the traders dealing in electricals and provide them with much-needed help by deferring recovery of loan instalments, sanctioning liberal loans, waiving electricity bills and refunding GST.

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