Bengaluru, June 13: More than 1.5 lakh employees in shopping malls across Karnataka have become jobless due to lockdowns and restrictions over the past year and owners have incurred losses in crores of rupees. Mall owners have urged the government to allow them to reopen by June 21 to help them stem the tide.
Mukesh Kumar, chairman, Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI) & CEO, Infiniti Malls, said for every person directly employed with malls, on an average, three others are indirectly employed, providing logistics and support.
“In such a scenario, at least 1.5 lakh people have lost their jobs in the state,” Kumar said during a press conference in Bengaluru on Friday. “Though around 50,000 of them were reemployed after malls reopened for a brief time, many were laid off during the second lockdown,” he said. He said over 50% of malls, a majority of them standalone ventures, will close down if no support is provided.
Sunil Munshi, AVP operations, Orion Malls, said almost 80% of employees working in malls, shops, restaurants and service sectors come from economically weaker sections.
Kumar said a moratorium extended by RBI last year ended in March and they now have nothing to fall back on. “There has hardly been any revenue for a retailer or the mall. The past few months have been so stressful that we don’t know how to cope,” he said.
He said on average, revenue from retail in malls in the state is Rs 2,000 crore per month. They pay Rs 350 crore GST. Due to lockdowns, retails have incurred losses of Rs 20,000 to 25,000 crore and governments have suffered GST loss of Rs 3,000 crore. “Malls have lost 15% of the revenue generated by retailers,” Kumar said.
Kumar said pre-Covid estimates show that across India, 1,000 malls generate monthly revenue of Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000 crore. The whole ecosystem has suffered almost Rs 1 lakh crore losses.
Najeeb Kunil, CEO, PPZ Mall Development & Management Services Co said they have urged the state government to provide waivers around rental / lease, electricity charges, upcoming renewals of existing permits / licenses / NOCs among others. They have also sought waiver of property taxes payment till January 2022 and support around minimum wages rates and guard-board payments until FY 2021-22.
He also feared a downstream effect hitting smallscale industries and small businesses which have no income with shopping malls shut. “The sooner they take a call and heed our requests, the better it will be for everyone in the ecosystem, not just the developers,” he said.
SCAI members said that the solution lies in reopening the shopping malls as soon as possible. Kunil said vaccination is a major solution. “We hope to be back to 90% of footfall by October,” he said.
THE GLOBAL ECONOMY DURING AND AFTER COVID-19, PANDEMIC
The disciplined, law-abiding and skilled nations would reestablish the economy expediently than undisciplined, lawless and unskilled countries. Covid-19, the pandemic has crumbled the global economy putting India 50 years behind. Indian leaders were irresponsible in handling the Covid-19, pandemic, due to their Godly attitude and for the lack of respect for the Rule of Law causing massive death during the Covid-19, pandemic. India is now doomed.
Victoria, BC, CANADA