Small traders and shopkeepers have been protesting since the government imposed a seven-day special ban on coronavirus infections. They have expressed fears of an investment loss of several thousand crores. Traders say they have invested the money ahead of the first Boishakh and Eid sales. If the shop cannot be opened due to the ban, it will be a complete loss. In such a situation, they want the opportunity to sell the product even for a limited time. According to the Bangladesh Shop Owners Association, there are about 6 million shops or small businesses in the country. They have lost Tk 1,100 crore every day due to being closed on public holidays last year. He was looking at the first Baishakh and Eid festivals to overcome that loss. But once again, the government has banned corona infections. As a result, shop owners and employees are in new uncertainty.
Talking to Rajab Ali, an employee of a clothing store in New Market area. “The owner doesn’t pay when the shop is closed,” he told Kaler Kantha. Because the store costs a lot. So if you do not sell the moneylender or where to pay? And if the lockdown continues in this situation, the moneylenders will not be able to continue, nor will we. ‘
Bangladesh Shop Owners Association President. Helal Uddin told Kaler Kantha, “Shop owners have already collected goods worth Tk 1,000 crore for Eid and Boishakh. After the season is over, it will remain unsold for traders.”
Nizam Uddin, president of Chandni Chowk Business Forum, told Kaler Kanth, “Every shopkeeper has picked up the goods according to his ability. Wholesale, retail — all in all, products worth thousands of crores have been picked up in the shops. For this they have invested in bank loans, mortgaging land and selling property. That is how you have invested in Ramadan and Eid. And if you can’t open a shop at this stage, everyone will be completely destitute. ‘
Dewan Aminul Islam Shaheen, president of the Dhaka New Market Businessmen’s Association, told Kaler Kanth, “We had high hopes for Eid, Baishakh and the post-Eid season. At that time, we have come to a complete standstill due to the ban or lockdown. Considering the overall health system, we should be given a limited time. ‘
Meanwhile, traders and shop workers protested on Wednesday demanding the opening of shops in different parts of the country, including the capital. On the third day of the ban, traders staged a protest in front of Bashundhara City Shopping Complex demanding reopening of shopping malls. At that time, the traders chanted slogans demanding to open the shops in compliance with the hygiene rules.
According to eyewitness sources, traders started gathering in small groups in front of Bashundhara Shopping Complex in the capital around noon. Banners of the owners of their own markets can also be seen in the hands of some traders. On the other hand, a group of businessmen also chained in front of Eastern Plaza. At this time the traffic was disrupted for a while. When the police came and asked the traders to leave, the traders left in a peaceful atmosphere.
Our own correspondent from Rajshahi said that the traders of Rajshahi also protested yesterday demanding to keep the shop open. Textile traders staged a protest at Sahebbazar in the city around 11 am.
According to our correspondent from Bogra, human chain and procession-rallies have been organized by the traders of different markets in Satmatha of the city. Merchants from seven markets, including the city’s New Market, took part in it.
The Chuadanga representative said that traders of sari, sprinklers and readymade garments want to open shops in compliance with hygiene rules. Garment traders say they need to be allowed to open their shops for at least a few hours.
The traders demanded to open the market from 12 noon to 8 pm
The Shop Merchants Welfare Association has demanded that all markets, shopping malls and shopping malls across the country and Dhaka metropolis be kept open from 12 noon to 8 pm every day ahead of the holy Eid-ul-Fitr. The demand was made in an open letter sent to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday.
The letter, signed by Arifur Rahman Tipu, general secretary of the Shop Merchants Welfare Association, also called for not extending the ban. The letter said, “If the lockdown period is extended, we will be able to get in the way of small and medium businesses.”