Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that his government would soon talk to scheduled banks in the city to ease the process of giving loans for traders, start working on a portal that would help connect traders in the city with those in other states and countries, and improve infrastructure of existing markets in the Capital.
In a web interaction with traders from across the city, the chief minister shared a broad road map for the revival of Delhi’s economy in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic. “I want to assure you that in the days to come, we will have a number of announcements that would benefit industrialists and traders in the city. We are currently working on several schemes and policies that are aimed at improving business environment, trade and revive Delhi’s economy.”
“Several traders in the city have told us that they are facing difficulties in availing loans under the Central government’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ scheme. We shall soon talk to scheduled banks and ensure that the process of availing loans is eased,” Kejriwal said in a speech at the end of the webinar.
In May, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a Rs 20-lakh crore economic stimulus package – under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ tag popularised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, which included collateral-free loans for medium scale, small and micro enterprises.
On Sunday’s session, Kejriwal further said, “Delhi has several industrial areas and wholesale markets which produce or trade in some specific products. For them, we shall work on starting a portal which could help connect them with other traders in other states and other countries.”
“We have also received a lot of suggestions on improving the infrastructure of existing markets in the city. Delhi’s markets should be of international standards and we are working towards that. We started with the Chandni Chowk project and in the coming days we will work towards improving the infrastructure of more such markets,” said Kejriwal.
Leher Sethi, an entrepreneur from the event management industry who was present in the webinar, said: “The hospitality and event industry has been greatly affected. Measures must be taken to revive this industry because events are mostly happening online and this is likely to continue till 2021. In the past one month, around 60,000 events from across 11 countries have been cancelled.”
In a web interaction, Kejriwal pointed out how Delhi is one of the rare states in the country which did not have to impose a lockdown for the second time and discussed a series of measures, such as creating a job portal and setting up a committee to advise him on reviving Delhi’s economy in the light of the pandemic.
Sanjeev Mehra, president of the traders’ association in Khan Market, said: “We are thankful to the government for providing us with all the support to ensure that physical distancing protocols and hygiene is maintained in the markets. There has been no Covid case in Khan Market, and business is slowly picking up pace.”
Praveen Goyal, president of Delhi marble traders’ association, said, “There are more than 1 lakh marble shops in Delhi and more than 1 lakh people are earning their livelihoods through marble business. But there is no organized parking in marble market areas in Delhi. If a marble facilitation zone is created on 100 hectares of land, it will be a huge relief.”
Meenakshi Dutt, a salon owner who participated in the webinar, said: “The government must establish a women’s cell or a department in Delhi where women entrepreneurs can report their grievances and issues related to businesses. I want to thank the Delhi government for opening the salon industry in Delhi when the time was right.”