Expressing “deep disappointment” with the government’s ₹20 lakh crore economic package, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on May 17 said it would now seek the immediate intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for support.The organisation, which represents about seven crore traders across the country, said they had been completely sidelined by the government while preparing the much-awaited economic package.The CAIT, which has been a fairly vocal supporter of the BJP-government, expressed its “deep disappointment” and “resentment” against the government for the “step-motherly treatment”.In a statement, CAIT national president B.C. Bhartia and secretary general Praveen Khandelwal said, “The traders will be landing into a great financial crisis on lifting of lockdown as they will have to pay salary, interest, bank loans, taxes and various other financial obligations. It is expected that nearly 20% traders will have to wind up their business and another 10% traders dependent on these 20% traders will have to close their business.”Under such a grim situation, they said, the government had refused to handhold the traders. “It’s a pity that such an important sector of the economy has been greatly overlooked…The traders of India have been called as the backbone of the economy on several occasions by the Prime Minister and even in these extremely troubled circumstances the Kirana retailers have displayed their true character as corona warriors and ensured the supply of essential commodities.”
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