Shopping centers association approaches Punjab, Haryana govts for phased opening of malls
The Shopping Centers Association of India (SCAI) has reached out to the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh with a set of standard operating procedures and guidelines for reopening of malls in the twin states. A representation has also been sent to Chandigarh Administrator V P Singh Badnore besides Punjab Chief minister Amarinder Singh and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar, a SCAI release said here on Wednesday.
The SCAI has endorsed the ability of shopping centers to enforce protocols in a "far more efficient manner" than many others who have benefited from the relaxation, the release said. While preparing the standard operating procedures (SOPs), the shopping malls association held several consultations with ‘Captains of industry’ and adopted best global practices to ensure that the spread of COVID-19 is contained, it said.
Drawing on recent reports of long queues that were witnessed across the country to buy liquor where social distancing norms were "openly flouted", the SCAI reiterated the need for stringent SOPs and emphasised on the industry's ability to provide a safe and hygienic environment while ensuring social distancing norms are ensured. The SCAI sought intervention of the government to support the shopping center industry and protect the livelihood of 12 million people as the fate of organised retail remains uncertain amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
“The retail industry contributes over 10 per cent to India's GDP, the second largest after agriculture,” the SCAI release said, adding it employs over 8 per cent of the overall workforce making it the third largest in the country. Malls are equally safe, if not more, compared to any establishment allowed to open and all steps would be taken to ensure the safety of consumers, besides making wearing of masks compulsory, and allowing 50 per cent occupancy at food courts and coffee shops, the release added. PTI VSD SRY
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