Surat textile traders seek rent waiver from shop owners

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Written by Kamaal Saiyed | Surat | Updated: June 20, 2020 9:34:37 am

Surat textile industry, textile industry Surat, Surat industry, India news, Indian Express The association of textile traders has received several complaints on this from at least 10 textile markets. (Representational Image)

The textile trading industry, already reeling under loss of business due to Covid-19 lockdown, is now facing trouble with owners of the shops demanding rent for the months of April and May.

The association of textile traders has received several complaints on this from at least 10 textile markets. There are 185 textile markets in Surat with over 65,000 shops.The markets reopened in the first week of June after being shut since March 25 due to Covid-19 lockdown.

On Thursday and Friday, the shopkeepers of JJ market, Millenium Market, Universal Market, Padmavat Market, Surat Textile Market and Raghukul Market approached the Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA) with complaints that their shop owners started demanding rent for April and May when the markets were shut.

In the written complaint, the traders said that no business took place since April and hence they would not be able to pay the rent. The rent of shops vary from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1.25 lakh per month in the textile markets, with the highest being in the Millenium market.

“Around 65 per cent to 70 per cent shops in the textile markets are on rent. A single market consists of over 600 shops to 4,000 shops. We know that the condition of traders is not good and they cannot pay the rent. We are trying to talk to the owners and arrive at a solution. In Padmavat Market, JJ market and Raghukul Market, some shop owners have agreed to waive one month’s rent,” said Manoj Agrawal, FOSTTA president.

“We have received representations against shop owners from 10 such markets,” he said.

Uttam Bansal, a textile trader in Surat textile market said, “I’ve been paying monthly rent of Rs 30,000 for five years. Now the owner is demanding the rent for two months when the shops were shut. During the lockdown, we survived on what we had on hand. I reopened my shop on June 5. The business is not yet normal and we are not getting new orders. At present we are taking care of pending orders and sending the parcels to other states. We are also getting payment after two or three months from the retailers.”

“With the intervention of FOSTTA, the owner agreed to waive one month’s rent. We have told the owner that the rent for May will be paid in a couple of months, when the business gains momentum,” he added.

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