22 March 2020
New Delhi: Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to observe Janata Curfew on Sunday, about 7 crore traders throughout the country and 40 crore of their employees have decided to stay at home, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said.
The apex traders' body also urged PM Modi to announce a national lockdown in view of rapidly growing numbers of COVID-19 to help prevent its possible community transmission.
"About 60,000 commercial markets and 40,000 trade associations having 7 crore traders and 40 crore of their employees are all set to stay at home observing Janata Curfew today on call of PM Modi," CAIT said.
The General Secretary of CAIT, Praveen Khandelwal also added, "We are writing to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend complete national lockdown till March 31. All traders are ready to observe lockdown for the country's safety."
The New Delhi Traders' Association (NDTA) has already announced that one of India's most visited marketplaces, Connaught Place, will remain closed for Monday as well.
"We will follow the government's order with regard to lockdown but for now we have announced that markets in our area will remain shut for Monday as well. Decision for later days will be announced on Monday evening," Atul Bhargava, president of NDTA told IANS.
According to Bhargava, showroom owners in Connaught place have already witnessed 90 percent fall in business and over 1700 showrooms are facing heat of decreased footfall due to coronavirus threat.
Meanwhile, popular market places in national capital saw deserted roads, with traders in markets like Lajpat Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Khan Market, Chandhni Chowk market, Connaught Place and others observing Janata Curfew and kept shutters of their shops down.
Earlier, McDonald's India on Saturday said that it will keep all its restaurants in North and East India closed on Sunday to observe 'Janata Curfew'.
The announcement came in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a 'Janta Curfew' on March 22 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections.