Shopkeepers in mumbai have been reeling under the lockdown restrictions for two months now. And the fresh guidelines for the fourth phase of the lockdown has only added to their troubles. As per the fresh set of rules for Lockdown 4.0, the e-commerce sites have been allowed to operate in mumbai while shops remain closed.
As the city is dealing with the worst Covid-19 outbreak in the country, the state government has given the local authorities power to determine whether the local shops can open or not. And they have decided to keep shops shut, autos and taxis off-road and street hawkers are not allowed as well.Badrunisa Sheikh’s husband used to set up his cloth shop on the streets of Mumbai. But because of the lockdown, there has been no income and the entire family of six depends on the ration being provided by the government. "We have lived our lives on the footpath. If we could set up our street-side shop again then we would not have to depend on the kindness of people helping us. I am sure the government is trying its best to control the situation," says Badrunisa Sheikh.
In mumbai, as yet only grocery and medical stores are open. But with E-commerce companies being allowed to function. Shop owners feel that they will lose out on large businesses that would have helped them overcome the lockdown heat. Viren Shah, President of Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association says, "3.5 lakh shopkeepers are members of our association and our business is zero for the last two months. Letting e-commerce companies trade in non-essential and not letting us open up is not right. We will be immensely affected by this move. E-commerce should also be restricted to only essential goods in cities like Mumbai."