City’s retailers to keep shops closed today to mark protest

ST Correspondent
Monday, 25 June 2018

Retail traders and owners of mithai, farsan and dairy stores are irked with the Pune Municipal Corporations (PMC) and State government as the PMC is confiscating packaging material from them and the government has not provided an alternative to the plastic used to sell liquid items.

Pune: Retail traders and owners of mithai, farsan and dairy stores are irked with the Pune Municipal Corporations (PMC) and State government as the PMC is confiscating packaging material from them and the government has not provided an alternative to the plastic used to sell liquid items.

On Monday, the Pune District Retail Traders Association (PDRTA) and Mithai, Farsan and Dairy Association (MFDA), Pune will go on a one-day strike. Sachin Nivagune, President of PDRTA, said, “During the drive, the PMC is confiscating packaging materials which are exempted from the ban. The government in its recent decision announced they will allow plastic as packing material. We welcome the plastic ban, but PMC officials are just making money by confiscating items which are not banned.”

He said, “We have stopped giving plastic bags to customers. The problem is we haven’t been given any alternative to package perishable goods. There are 5,000 retail traders in Pune district and we will be on strike for a day. The PMC raided 200 retail shops from which they have collected more than Rs 3 lakh.”

Sachin Gadhve, Joint Secretary of the MFDA, Pune, said, “We are also calling for a bandh to protest against the double standards of the government.” 

“We are not against the plastic ban, but the government should give alternatives. There is no clarity in rules about the use of plastic. There is huge confusion in the mithai and dairy segment. The government has not given any alternative solution while announcing the plastic ban. This has an adverse impact on the business. Most of the action taken in this regard have been in Pune and thus the association has questioned double standards of treatment. As of now, the association has decided to have a daylong bandh to protest and have threatened to go on indefinite strike if the government does not take our grievances seriously,” he said.

Gadhve said there are 2,000 to 3,000 shops of MFDA in Pune district. “The PMC has not carried out any raids on the shops, but our customers are not happy with the ban, as there is often nothing with them to carry the liquid items,”  he added. 

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